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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Questions

Rabbit, Run Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Rabbit, Run seems pretty concerned with "doing the right thing" as Spike Lee would say. Do we find instances in Rabbit, Run of characters doing the right thing? If so, what are these right things, and why do we think they are right?
  2. Is Rabbit an honest person? Can we think of any instances in the novel when he lies? If we can or can’t, does that surprise us? Why or why not?
  3. How might this book have been different if Updike had picked a different animal for Harry Angstrom, say a wolf or dolphin? Does Harry’s being a "rabbit" make him more or less sympathetic to us (or does that have nothing to do with it at all)? Why does Rabbit call Ruth his "good horse"? What animal would you pick for Janice, if you had to?
  4. If we just went in and changed the 1959 pop cultural references to current ones, would Rabbit, Run still "work"? How would the book be different? What would you use in place of the fictional MagiPeeler?
  5. How might the characters in Rabbit, Run be different if they had the Internet? Would Rabbit have become a quadrillionaire selling the MagiPeel Peeler on Ebay? What would the Internet look like in 1959?
  6. Why doesn’t anyone talk about going to college in this book?
  7. How does the society depicted in the novel view and treat women?
  8. Could Janice be experiencing post-partum depression?

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