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by John Updike
Rabbit, Run Chapter 14 Summary
Lucy Eccles wakes Rabbit up. It’s almost 12:30 in the afternoon, and Eccles asked to make sure Rabbit knows visiting hours end at 3:00 p.m. Rabbit’s not pleased to put on his dirty clothes. He goes to the kitchen. He thinks Lucy looks away because he’s in just an undershirt. He drinks orange juice and agrees to eat Cheerios. He asks about Freud. She says her daughter is napping because they were up all morning wanting to see Rabbit, “the naughty man.” He wants to know why they thought he was naughty. She says Eccles told them that, but that he wasn’t going to be naughty anymore. Eccles’ family knows the people he is trying to help and has nicknames for all of them. Rabbit’s is “the naughty man.” Rabbit laughs as she tells him about someone with the nickname “Happy Beans.” She puts too much milk in his cereal, not like Ruth, who lets him pour his own. She says Eccles is so happy about Rabbit’s reform, as if it’s something he did. Rabbit doesn’t understand this. Neither does Lucy, but she knows the situation burdened Eccles. She wants to know why Jack likes him. He says he’s “loveable.” They banter. Rabbit thinks, “She is a naughty girl.” She asks how his transformation feels – to prepare her, in case she ever does “reform” like Eccles wants. He says he doesn’t feel very different. She says he seems different. He’s irritated that she says it, but knows it’s true. He feels like it matters that he is on this particular path now. He realizes that Lucy wants him. He thinks lovingly of Janice’s sweetness in the hospital. He wants to know how far the bus stop is, and she apologizes that she can’t drive him. Joyce comes down. She wants to know if Rabbit’s chest is his “boo-zim.” Lucy tells her that she already told her men don’t have bosoms. He puts on his shirt and thanks her, not wanting to go, wishing she would give him a ride, and really wanting to be in a car with her. He looks at her breasts and then at her face and she gives him the wink. His chest feels funny when he leaves.
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