Fear In Rabbit Run

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In the novel Rabbit, Run, John Updike uses the power of fear in Rabbit to portray him as a coward. Updike uses the protagonist, Rabbit, to show how fear can manipulate an individual. Rabbit’s decisions throughout the book are very controversial and his actions are considered immature. He encounters many people along the way, but his decisions with those people only cause more problems for him. Right from the beginning of the novel, Rabbit alrighty has problems with his wife, Janice. This argument between them foreshadows many problems to come, involving Rabbit. Many of Rabbit’s controversial actions are due to him, trying to seek religious sense. He wants to be able to discover meaning and purpose in his life by going on his quests in the…show more content…
He understands what actions are considered sinful, like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and gambling. He also knows that cheating on your spouse and leaving your family are also frowned upon, but fails to follow these rules. Across the novel, Rabbit commits various sins that are criticized by many people. His first sinful act was when he runs away from Janice and their six year old son, Nelson, because he is scared to face the realization of their future. What causes him to run away is the fact that he feels stressed and trapped by his marriage, his job, and ultimately his life. Rabbit decides that driving south will take him away from his old life, meaning that he runs away from his problems. As he is driving south, he realizes that “He is being drawn to Philadelphia,” (Updike 26). As he passes Philadelphia, he gets lost in an unknown city and stops at a local gas station to ask for directions. But instead of getting directions from a man, the man says, “ The only way to get somewhere, you know, is to figure out where you’re going before you go there,” ( Updike 30). At this point in the novel, Rabbit is hesitant to go any further south, but also is scared to go back. Eventually, Rabbit understands that he is traveling nowhere and turns around to find his way back to his hometown. This whole event, of running away from family, is highly criticized…show more content…
After this event, Rabbit is able to go back to his apartment with Nelson. He starts to live a normal life for a bit, but then turns back to his old habits. After a couple of days, he runs into another argument with Janice, which leads to him getting kicked out of the apartment. The argument started because Eccles’s (Rabbit’s Pastor) wife. One day while Rabbit was working for Eccles, his wife started to flirt with Rabbit. Rabbit then starts to get interested in her and Janice finds out. Janice was furious with him, because that would have been the second time that he left Janice for another women. Rabbit then runs away from apartment, “ he’s not here. He went out early this morning,” (Updike 273). Out of all Rabbit’s sinful actions, this may have the worst result. When Rabbit leaves Janice for the second time, she gets really depressed. To cope with this depression, she decides to drink a lot of alcohol all day. Janice decides to give their newborn baby a bath while she was drunk, and everything goes downward. When Janice puts the baby into the tub full of water, she had noticed that her sleeve was wet. While all her attention was on her sleeves, the baby sinks into the bathtub and starts to drown. Janice doesn’t notice until she looks into the bathtub, to see her newborn baby drowning. She tries her best to save the baby, giving her cpr, but nothing works. She finally realizes that “ the worst

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