Study Guide

Rabbit, Run Chapter 14

By John Updike

Chapter 14

  • Lucy Eccles wakes Rabbit up.
  • It’s almost 12:30 in the afternoon, and Eccles asked to make sure Rabbit knows visiting hours end at 3:00 p.m. Rabbit’s not pleased to put on his dirty clothes.
  • He goes to the kitchen. He thinks Lucy looks away because he’s in just an undershirt.
  • He drinks orange juice and agrees to eat Cheerios. He asks about Freud.
  • She says her daughter is napping because they were up all morning wanting to see Rabbit, “the naughty man.” He wants to know why they thought he was naughty.
  • She says Eccles told them that, but that he wasn’t going to be naughty anymore.
  • Eccles’ family knows the people he is trying to help and has nicknames for all of them.
  • Rabbit’s is “the naughty man.”
  • Rabbit laughs as she tells him about someone with the nickname “Happy Beans.”
  • She puts too much milk in his cereal, not like Ruth, who lets him pour his own.
  • She says Eccles is so happy about Rabbit’s reform, as if it’s something he did.
  • Rabbit doesn’t understand this. Neither does Lucy, but she knows the situation burdened Eccles. She wants to know why Jack likes him. He says he’s “loveable.”
  • They banter. Rabbit thinks, “She is a naughty girl.”
  • She asks how his transformation feels – to prepare her, in case she ever does “reform” like Eccles wants. He says he doesn’t feel very different.
  • She says he seems different. He’s irritated that she says it, but knows it’s true.
  • He feels like it matters that he is on this particular path now. He realizes that Lucy wants him. He thinks lovingly of Janice’s sweetness in the hospital.
  • He wants to know how far the bus stop is, and she apologizes that she can’t drive him.
  • Joyce comes down. She wants to know if Rabbit’s chest is his “boo-zim.”
  • Lucy tells her that she already told her men don’t have bosoms.
  • He puts on his shirt and thanks her, not wanting to go, wishing she would give him a ride, and really wanting to be in a car with her.
  • He looks at her breasts and then at her face and she gives him the wink.
  • His chest feels funny when he leaves.