Rabbit, Run is a guilt and blame-fest. This starts at the beginning of the novel when the main character, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, runs away from his pregnant wife and his son. But when newborn Rebecca June Angstrom drowns in a bathtub, things get messy. Rabbit’s wife Janice admits she drowned the baby while drunk. Yet Rabbit is a prime suspect, especially to himself. He is a suspect precisely because he was not there when the baby died. All of the other characters in the novel are suspects too – everybody simultaneously feels guilty and wants to blame others. Even the novel’s setting, America of 1959, is a suspect.
Rebecca June’s death is Updike’s indictment of America in the 1950s – in the end everyone is guilty and everyone is to blame.