Study Guide

Rabbit, Run Chapter 3

By John Updike

Chapter 3

  • They walk together on the street, kind of arguing.
  • Rabbit thinks she isn’t keen on him, same as the Texas prostitute.
  • Rabbit says: “Come on now, be a pleasant cunt,” showing he will not be impeded by her toughness. They walk now, each with an arm around the other’s waist.
  • Ruth says he talked about himself too much at dinner.
  • He says he was a great athlete, though is nothing now.
  • She says she was a great cook, but that now she just eats out to find men.
  • They get to her building. They go to her apartment, on the second floor.
  • They go in and he starts kissing her and holds her roughly. She tells him to leave.
  • He says he just wanted to “hug” her. She says it was more like “kill” than hug.
  • She’s afraid he will prematurely ejaculate if they have sex. He promises not to.
  • She wants to take her clothes off in the bathroom. He wants to take them off for her.
  • She wants to put in a diaphragm. He doesn’t like them.
  • They banter about birth control. He is against it. She for it.
  • He insinuates he’d like to marry her.
  • He watches her pee, and flashing back to toilet training Nelson, praises her for a job well done.
  • He’s undressing her, and when he fumbles she tries to take over.
  • He says to relax and enjoy – that it’s their “wedding night.” He thinks she wants to hit him. She says men always want to “hurt…or be hurt.”
  • He tells her she is pretty. She makes mention again of her weight.
  • He lets her take off her stockings, fearing he will tear them. He continues undressing her.
  • He starts to get naked, too. Wanting her completely naked, he makes her take off her ring.
  • She laughs at his boxers – says they make him look like a rabbit.
  • He washes the makeup off her face with a washcloth.
  • They are in bed together, he does it like he does with Janice – trying to get her in the mood. He sits on her butt and massages her back.
  • They make love (it’s not clear if birth control is used) and she comes.
  • He says she’s pretty. She says she’s forgotten that she could have an orgasm, too.
  • She wants to go to the bathroom, and he tries to stop her.
  • He doesn’t like women to wash immediately after sex.
  • He wants some water. It depresses him to hear her washing.
  • He’s already snoozing when she comes back with his water.