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Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run

by John Updike

Fear Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

He feels frightened. When confused, Janice is a frightening person. (1.38)

Funny how Rabbit’s fear of Janice leads him to make her even more confused by pressuring her to explain herself. He tries to be nice, but it just doesn’t work.

Quote #2

Your fear trills like an alarm bell you cannot shut off, the louder the faster you run, hunchbacked, until distinctly, with a gasp of the clutch, a near car shifts gears, and the stumpy white posts of the guard fence dawns behind the pine trunks. (1.67)

Hmm…this memory he has (of willingly losing himself to nature for the relief of escaping back to civilization) while running to pick up Nelson at the beginning of the novel sounds an awful lot like what he actually does at the end of the novel, after he tells off Janice and runs away from Rebecca June’s funeral.

Quote #3

Laws aren’t ghosts in this country, they walk around with the smell of earth on them. Senseless fear cakes over Rabbit’s body. (1.92)

One question to ask here is whether the adjective "senseless" which is used to describe Rabbit’s fear is the narrator’s judgment or Rabbit’s. That could lead to either an interesting discussion on narrative voice, and/or a discussion about how knowing a fear isn’t justified doesn’t always help us stop being afraid.

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