by John Updike
Rabbit, Run Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
So tall, he seems an unlikely Rabbit, but the breadth of his white face, the pallor of his blue irises, and a nervous flutter under his brief nose as he stabs a cigarette into his mouth partially explain the nickname, which was given to him when he too was a boy.
Get a load of all the meat in this quote! We learn that the name Rabbit was "given" to him (by some unknown naming entity) before we learn the name he was given at birth. And we are made to know that he is literally a rabbit – possibly suggesting that he has become more and more animal as he interacts more with the world.
Rabbit picks up his folded coat and carries it in one hand like a letter as he runs. (1.10)
This brief sentence lights on major facets of Rabbit’s identity – animal, neatness, running – and we can see how these work together compellingly. Keep in mind the image of Rabbit running with a letter. You’ll need it later on, when we see him run home to Janice from church, with, um, a different kind of package.
"At my mother’s? The car’s at your mother’s and the kid’s at my mother’s. Jesus. You’re a mess."
She [Janice] stands up and her pregnancy infuriates him with its look of stubborn lumpiness. (1.34-35)
Charming Rabbit. His hostile speech and gaze establish that Janice’s presence intrudes on his sense of positive identity, and certainly hers as well. What a briar patch. In short: get thee to a marriage counselor or a judge (or *hint* a priest).