by John Updike
Rabbit, Run Visions of America Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
So there is some space between the old stone brick house and the Sunshine Athletic Association, a tall thin brick building like a city tenement misplaced in this disordered alley of backsides and leftovers. (1.66)
The Sunshine Athletic Association is a scary place, both for Rabbit and us. At the risk of gross oversimplification, we say the Sunshine Athletic Club is place for old men who aren’t happy at home, or who have no home. Rabbit’s old coach lives there, even though he has a wife. This vision of America speaks to some our deepest fears and concerns – homelessness and the elderly, and as technology offers us a more global identity, it’s easy to travel from the Sunshine Athletic Club in America 1959, to the world, today.
He had thought, he had read, that from shore to shore all America was the same. He wonders, Is it just these people I’m outside, or all of America? (1.114)
One thing to ponder here is how much the difference between what "he had thought" and "read" and what America really is and was contributed to his alienation. Then we have to ponder how much the difference between what we read in Rabbit, Run and what America really is and was will contribute to our alienation.
The apple-and-orange colored light of a small grocery store shows the silhouettes of some kids hanging around the corner. The supermarkets are driving these little stores out of business, make them stay open all night.
In spite of the weird grammar in the second sentence, we can unearth a wealth of touchy issues – we could argue for example, that supermarkets, by forcing out the small stores, contribute to homogenization in America. Or the reverse, that the supermarket promotes diversity through variety, on a scale with which the small store could never compete. Don’t stop, maybe we are on a roll…What about the idea that in "ethnic" neighborhoods the drama burns in a more exterior manner, while in "white people" neighborhoods, like the ones Rabbit is so comfortable and so uncomfortable in, the heat and drama is more interior, and when it leaks out, whoa…Sound controversial? We hope so.