In this emotional novel Rabbit, Run, John Updike takes the main character, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, on a roller coaster ride through the ups and downs of life. The once great basketball star runs into a mental crisis in his mid-twenties and decides to up and leave his son, Nelson, and pregnant wife Janice to escape to the easier life. Rabbit may have had a better relationship with the people in his life if he were not constantly running. His immaturities and insecurities hurt his family, especially his son who is dependent on Rabbit.
Society defines a mature marriage as a loving relationship with a nuclear family in which the parents support and raise the family. Too often, this social contract clashes with individual yearning. Rabbit is restricted, so is unable to act, as he would truly want. Rabbit defies the societal demands and pursues his own individual wants and needs, which can hurt others in his life. Harry's marriage to Janice is very superficial. They were young teenage lovers, and Janice became pregnant soon afterward. He immediately marries Janice even though this marriage goes against his desire for individuality. Rabbit and Janice are not very close, as Janice is quite shy even about showing her body to her spouse. Rabbit is also beginning to find Janice less attractive, and feels some hostility towards her. "Just yesterday, it seems to him, she stopped being pretty (Updike 13)". One would think that the addition of children would mature a couple and bring them closer together in some instances, but in this case it obviously does not. Rabbit does not value Janice and their relationship; he regards it as something easy to walk out on, or should we say, run out on. He does not put effort into making it work, he simply runs away. Running from problems is not a mature way to deal with difficulty, but this is the only way he knows how to cope. When Rabbit first runs away from his wife and son he meets Ruth, a prostitute. Rabbit's love...
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