by John Updike
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
For Rabbit, anything can symbolize a trap – a road, a map, sperm, a job, an invitation, his apartment. Sometimes the trap is symbolized by something vague he smells in the air. For the readers the trap is a symbol of both Rabbit’s paranoia, and his very real fear that he and Janice are not good for each other. In the beginning of the novel Nelson is part of the trap, but by the end this has changed and Nelson becomes an authority and a source of purpose for Rabbit.