An American Story Writer, Poet, Novelist, and a Literary Criticizer John Updike

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John Updike: A Prolific and Impressive Writer

An American story writer, poet, novelist, and a literary criticizer, John Updike is a prolific, clever, intuitive, and an impressive writer who has an important spot in the American literature. Updike is viewed as a thoughtful, most literate writer and ambitious. Margaret Atwood opinion is that Updike as a writer he can do anything he wants. He is also viewed with many talents, creative in their expression and he is probably a prodigy. Updike was already an established professional at a platform when many young writers had hardly recognized their strengths. There are about thirty novels to his credit and number of them deal with the theme of belief in relation to mankind in their social relationships and social perspectives. Therefore, there are several themes in his different pieces of art which becomes an essential thematic focus which should be analyzed with special analytical workout in his fictive compositions.

The Theme of Belief in "The Witches of Eastwick"

In his work "The Witches of Eastwick", belief turns to be an essential thematic emphasis in connection to American culture, the limitations of American philosophy, and the prospects of society prohibit women especially from prospering and being themselves versus being what society believes suitable. Alexandra Spofford's constant representation of the changes she has made in her life is one of the main factors at the start of this novel that illustrates evidence to this theme. As depicted in the introduction, Alexandra indicted that it was not until middle life that "she justly believed that it was her right to exist that the power of nature had formed her not as a reconsideration and companion... nonetheless as a basis of enduring creation." (Updike 14). Alexandra accomplished a heightened sense of liberation and freedom through this recognition of herself or at least an inner kindness and acceptance. With many women currently, particularly as the adoration of thinness has grown, would not agree with the idea of adding more weight or being pleased with self at a higher than socially recognized as a positive. In modern world persons seen as overweight are often categorized as lazy or not having in control, in addition, they are regularly discriminated against both professionally and socially.

The Importance of Self-Acceptance

Nevertheless, as stated by Alexandra, "at the age of fourteen she had a height of five-eight and a weight of one-twenty and at the age of twenty; she weighed one hundred and sixty pounds now." Rather than mourning this transformation or stray from excellence, Alexandra realizes that "she had stopped to regularly weigh herself one of the liberations of becoming a witch." (Updike 17). In turn, it can be stated that with this kind of freedom, Alexandra has stopped to regularly match herself to others and she has ceased being so negative and judgmental towards herself. This kindness towards one-self and not only the stressing of a person's inward beauty but of an individual's outer beauty just as they are is something that is not regularly fortified by modern society. This role of the community is illustrated by Alexandra's female fight against her weightiness. "At the age of thirty-eight she realized it was progressively unnatural." Alexandra is concerned about this impression by asking "for her to entice love must she refuse her own body, similar to a neurotic saint of old?" In her view, "nature is the setting and index of entire health, and if one has an appetite, it is there to fulfilled thus the cosmic order" (Updike, 5).

The Taboo of Sexuality and Acceptance in Society

However, following the advice and expectations of society as well as the notion of self-acceptance and the female fight to satisfy an individual's hunger, it can be concluded that the appetite stated in the previous quote is not exclusively related to foodstuff. The appetite can be any physical or psychological appetite as well as the desire for belonging and acceptance to the contentment of a person's sexual desires. This is something viewed as a taboo, and also reflected as a disturbing topic for quite a number of people, however, on the contrary, it is highly publicized. Nonetheless, the sex acts are displayed in cinemas and the stereotypical depiction of the faultless woman and man is what is displayed. Sex is regularly depicted particularly to teenagers as a deed of ultimate pleasure or joy, it appears teenagers have unrealistic notion of sex and their philosophies towards it are in turn flawed (Updike, 54). The media depicts choreographed sex acts, a number of them similar in nature, and nearly all do not have a truthful depiction of sex. It is also blown way out of proportion. The sexual needs off women particularly, are frequently viewed as inappropriate. Whereas, it is absolutely natural for a man for man to have multiple sexual partners, and if a woman does the same thing, she is taken as a whore. The establishment of Van Home into the existence of these three women consents for both their emotional and sexual liberation from what is socially believed. Under this new sense of liberation and empowerment, these women, in turn, for a less period, blossom and flourish. This may, in turn, in the modern philosophies of what is morally and socially believed for women are unnatural and unfair, be a reason to question.

Themes of Struggle and Acceptance in "Separating"

There is the theme of conflict, struggle, separation, confusion, and acceptance in John Updike's short story "Separating" (1974). The story is recited in the third person by an unidentified narrator and it is derived from his the early stories collection, and the reader from the beginning of the story notices that John Updike may be exploring the theme of struggle and conflict in addition to the theme of separation. The plan on separating between Richard and Joan leads to their disagreement when it turns to the way to tell their children. Telling each child separately was the Joan's choice while Richard preferred telling the children when the family is sitting down for supper. Through narration to the reader that Joan's "plan became an obstacle for him (Richard) into four-four knife-sharp walls, each with a sheer blind drop on the other side" Updike is also able to depict to the reader, Richard's struggle and difficulty he feels on informing the children he is separating from Joan (Updike, 11). Richard and Joan separation is due to Richard's involvement in an affair, it may also be essential that although the reader is aware, there is no child who has this information. The reason for separation between Richard and Joan being not known the children Updike thrives in adding confusion to the story.

Acceptance in "Separating"

On a different point, Updike seems to be investigating the theme of acceptance. Other than John, who appears to be disordered as to why his maternities may be separating, each of Joan's and Richard kids seem to admit the fact that their maternities are preparing for separation. How admitting Judith is of her maternities preparation for separation is evident. On realizing that Joan and Richard had a proposal to separate, on the foundation that summer is approaching, she informs Joan that the plans are trivial (Updike, 21). She stated that you should either divorce or live together. This statement may be significant as not only does it propose that Judith admits the prospect of her parents divorcing but Updike may be emphasizing the independence that may have happened among you ladies at the period the allegory was written. Just as Judith fingered a sense of liberation while she was in England likewise it is probable that Updike is signifying that Judith may be a cohort who no longer finds the need in staying in a matrimonial where one is fateful. Joan also appears to completely admit that her matrimonial to Richard has ended. Nevertheless, it is interesting that when Joan and Richard are in their boudoir, Joan informs Richard that it is his obligation to inform Dickie that they are divorcing, with it being implicit "that's one part of your duty job I won't do for you" (Updike, 66). This statement may too be significant as if it would seem that Joan admits the divorce she still stays declined to make life any simpler for Richard, guaranteeing that it is him and not her who should inform Dickie that they are divorcing. If whatsoever it would seem that Joan is trying to ensure that Richard takes obligation. It is later as a result of his deeds that Joan and Richard consider divorcing.

Society and Conventionality in "A&P"

The A&P collection is located in what seems to be an impartially small and slightly sedate, mainly Protestant as recommended by the Congregational church metropolis some distance north of Boston. Possible to be customarily similar, this primary 1960s society shows a homogeneous in what individual might reason of as its ethical values. For instance, individuals do not as legislation enter into A&P collection without shoes and in showering customs. "They cover up first. Stokesie's comment, Is it done? (Updike & Bob, 5)" denoting to the lassies' costumes is validation that the lassies are breaking social agreement, though they appear to be uninformed of the slight mixing they are generating by their acts. It is also obvious that through the story Richard is stressed. Not only does Richard find it problematic to inform the kid's about the divorce (and ends up crying) but as he is serving on the bolt on the screen porch he also appears to be fraught. It is probable that Updike is also applying the bolt as symbolism.

The Rebellion Against Conventionality

The conventionality of life in the city is also proposed by Sammy's description of the clients in the store as "sheep pushing their carts down the aisle (Updike & Bob, 33)" all in the similar track. In distinction, the lassies enter in the opposite track, a pictorial copy that recommends how they are going against the modicum. Sammy aligns himself expressively with the lassies, specifically Queenie, who has the courage to stroll around not only in showering custom but also with the shoulder bands down. Sammy receives conceits in vertical the conventional mindset. He is more at liberty spirit. Being of little age, he is not still prepared (and possibly may never be) to admit issues just as they seem to be. He takes a serious sight of the collection, for instance, not only its clients but also the products it vends, which comprise "accounts at discount of the Tony Martin or Sings Caribbean Six or some grease you think they waste the buff on, six packs of bonbon bars, and malleable dolls made up in cellophane that break apart when a child views at them anyway.

The Individual Liberation and Its Restrictions

Conventionality is personified not only in the clients but also in Lengel, the warehouse administrator, who is attractively boring, in Sammy's look, but is a reputable affiliate of the society learning Sunday school, for instance. He discerns promptly that dressing showering costumes in the warehouse is not allowed to local society morals, and he does not vacillate to tell the girls of warehouse rule. Sammy's compassions, although, are completely entirely with the lassies. He is not a friendship man in any logic of the terminology. He probably reasons, though he does not say so precisely, that individuals should be permitted to dress whatever they wish, anywhere they want (Updike & Bob, 29). As a juvenile man, Sammy recognizes his own liberty of deed, as well as that of others. He is not considered down by the obligations that Stokesie, only three ages his manager but now with children and wife, has taken on. Sammy's reassigning of his occupation is a declaration of that liberation, a complaint against conventionality. He also recognizes that provided that love of liberation, his imminent opening via the creation that inclines to reward conventionality is not to be informal.

Works Cited

Updike, John. The Witches of Eastwick. New York: Knopf, 1984. Print.

Updike, John. The Early Stories, 1953-1975. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004. Print.

Updike, John, and Bob Dacey. Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories. Franklin Center, Pa: Franklin Library, 1981.Print.

August 21, 2023



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