Rabbit Is Rich
More Stately Mansions
[T]he religious speaker, if I may say so, should have his fun in making his heroes just as fortunate as they want to be, turn them into kings and emperors and millionaires and happy lovers who win the girl and so on—but he must also see to procuring suffering for them in their inner beings
—Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript
Because most work on the Rabbit novels has up until now dealt with a “trilogy, ” few of Updike's readers have been able to identify the complex structure of the finished tetralogy, a structure Updike seems to have had in mind as early as Rabbit Redux. Generally, Rabbit Is Rich, the third novel in the series, has been regarded as a conclusion, a summing up of the unresolved issues raised in the first two novels. In other words, it has been seen as the synthesis of the “thesis-antithesis” dialectic of its predecessors. But Updike is rarely, if ever, interested in such “summing up”; his dialectical vision remains always unresolved and in tension. Likewise, Rabbit Angstrom as a whole is structured around the unresolved antinomial tensions produced by the work's four discrete units. With Rabbit Is Rich, Updike's Rabbit tetralogy does not begin summing up but rather inaugurates its second half. Just as Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux constitute a single dialectical unit, so, too, do Rabbit Is Rich and
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Publication information: Book title: John Updike's Rabbit Tetralogy: Mastered Irony in Motion. Contributors: Marshall Boswell - Author. Publisher: University of Missouri Press. Place of publication: Columbia, MO. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 130.
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