John Updike’s “The First Kiss” uses many significant rhetorical devices, including metaphors, descriptive diction, and symbolism. These three devices help Updike convey his perspective on baseball and convince that though it can be serious and extremely competitive, the sport is meant to be a fun experience for both it’s players and fans.
The metaphors used throughout Updike’s writing help develop a common attitude toward baseball; they reference both the fans and performances of the Red Sox. Monsters are referred to in the first line when Updike says the “many-headed monster called Fenway Faithful” and the fifth line, saying that in the last season, the “men in red sox broke its monstrous big heart”. He is stating that the ending to their baseball season brought out the “monster” within the fans. However, with the start of the new season, Updike clarifies that the “monsters” have “short memories, elastic hearts, and very foolable faculties,” meaning they are excited for the new season to take way and willing to forget about last season’s disappointment. This metaphor is comparing the red sox fans to monsters. Their disappointment creates a cynical tone, which takes away from the fun of the sport. Love is another metaphor used to contribute to the main point of Updike’s essay. He uses this metaphor when stating “the Fenway Faithful yesterday resumed its romance with twenty-five youngish men in red sox.” Later on Updike describes the Red Sox ending last year the “cruelest tease” and describes fans’ feelings. In the next paragraph, Updike describes the fans’ commitment because their “elastic hearts” allow them to love the Red Sox again even though the season did not end well. He emphasises the love of the fans by mentioning that even though the previous season ended badly, the fans “forgot” about it and are starting fresh with a new attitude filled with love and eagerness towards the game and their team. They want to have fun throughout the