Study Guide

Rabbit, Run What’s Up With the Title?

By John Updike

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 he is man. Throw in some Peter Rabbit and a little Bunny Foo-foo, and we are ready to…Run. And Rabbit running is one thing we can count on in this tragic tale of the American Dream gone bad. He’s running to get out of a “trap” and at the same time, running after that perfect combination of veggies. Problem is, he’s not sure if he’s missing a veggie that will make the platter complete or which veggies are parts of the trap. All the suspects could be either part of the trap or part of the platter – most likely, both.

Enough salad speak; we are talking individuals, like his wife and his lover, his parents and his children, as well as institutions, like religion, marriage. We are also talking breaks with tradition, or alternative lifestyles. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Rabbit, Run is also about trying to be a grown up – but without being totally miserable because of all that responsibility that comes with it. We all want to know that trick, right? Maybe Rabbit, Run can give us a few pointers. So put on your sweat pants, then grab your tissues, and your copy of Rabbit, Run.