John Updike's Rabbit Tetralogy: Mastered Irony in Motion

By Marshall Boswell | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Two
Rabbit Redux
The Doorway into Utter Confusion

Civilization only produces a greater variety of sensations in man—and absolutely nothing more. And through the development of this variety, man may even come to find enjoyment in bloodshed.

—Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

If the central thematic conflict of Rabbit, Run is freedom versus domesticity, then the corresponding conflict of Rabbit Redux is its more sociopolitical counterpart, revolution versus preservation. What was private in the first volume becomes public in its sequel, as Rabbit's quest for freedom's possibility gets taken up by the 1960s mass culture. “You know, Rabbit tells Charlie Stavros, Janice's lover and one of the novel's numerous swingers, “you're just like me, the way I used to be. Everybody now is like the way I used to be” (182/422). Used to be is the key, for in the intervening ten years Rabbit has radically changed, not so much with the times as in stubborn opposition to them. The restless proto-beatnik who, in Rabbit, Run, tries to rid himself of the deathevoking chains of middle-class Eisenhower-era husbandhood becomes, in Rabbit Redux, a staunchly conservative “family man” and “responsible citizen” of the lurid air-conditioned suburban landscape of the late 1960s. The world that Rabbit once knew has been turned upside down so completely that Updike, in order to maintain the dialectical equilib

-76-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
John Updike's Rabbit Tetralogy: Mastered Irony in Motion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 254

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?