Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in Rabbit, Run

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Water shows up repeatedly in Rabbit, Run and Updike really works it. When Rabbit first runs, he wants to go to the ocean. Here water takes on the classic meaning: rebirth. In Rabbit’s happy m...

Setting

Let’s look at the setting of Rabbit, Run from the top down. It goes: mountains, then virgin forest, then Mt. Judge (a suburb), then Brewer (a big city). So we have varying degrees of wilderne...

Narrator Point of View

Most of Rabbit, Run is told from the perspective of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, though occasionally the narrator will slip into other characters’ heads. At the beginning of the novel, we see Rab...

Genre

Family drama: Families. Drama. Check.Horror or Gothic Fiction: Mysterious traps. Priests. Hallucinations. Fear. Dead babies. Check.Literary Fiction: Fancy prose style. Neurotic. Check.Quest: Somebo...

Tone

Many characters in Rabbit, Run say, do, and think harsh things. But a tone of sympathy, and even love pervades. And man are these folks judgmental. Like when Rabbit calls Janice stupid, or when he...

Writing Style

Sentences and paragraphs are precision instruments in Rabbit, Run. Each finely honed to reflect the mood and action of the scene, and/or what’s in a character’s head. Look at the first...

What’s Up With the Title?

Rabbit refers to Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. This is where all those hours of Discovery Channel pay off, and where we can let our inner Bugs Bunny shine. Rabbit is almost as much bunny as...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

“The motions of Grace, the hardness of the heart; external circumstances.”– Pascal, Pensée 507Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and physicist who lived from 1623-1662....

What’s Up With the Ending?

Well, folks, no surprise – in the end Rabbit runs. As usual, he’s not sure where he’s headed. Will he keep on running, or will he return to marry pregnant Ruth, like he promised?...

Plot Analysis

Rabbit runs. And then he comes right back.Rabbit is torn between the unknown and the familiar. His life with pregnant, alcoholic Janice and toddler Nelson seems like a trap. But when he hits the op...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Out of the suburbs and into the big city.At the start of the novel our hero is a total mess. His life in the suburbs is driving him crazy – you know, the drunk, pregnant, always leaving the k...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Rabbit Angstrom runs off, leaving behind his pregnant, alcoholic wife Janice, and his son Nelson. After driving all night, something makes him turn the car around. But, he doesn’t go back to...

Trivia

Steaminess Rating

Lots of sex here, and lots of guilt and shame to go along with it. Ruth and Rabbit are the most sexually free characters and, when they have sex, it’s usually pretty steamy. (Except of course...

Allusions

Hilaire Belloc (5.75)G.K. Chesterton (5.130)Reader’s Digest (12.16)Saturday Evening Post (12.20)Woman’s Day (14.1)The Dalai Lama (2.23)Errol Flynn (1.17)The Mickey Mouse Club (1.23, 1.2...
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