Rabbit, Run; John Updike’s second novel, deals with the disgusting American middle-class lifestyle. It critically presents loss of traditional middle class values : Family life, religion, morality and the resulting - frustration, lack of mental peace and meaningless life. It portrays the complex and fluctuating relationships in an American middle class family and seems to be critical of directionless American middle-class values – individualism and freedom as well. Harry ”Rabbit” Angstrom, the protagonist, is essentially an American and is afflicted with the ills that have afflicted the modern middle-class society in general . He is disgusted with middle-class home environment and lifestyle, which fails to give him a background of stable meaning, objective values and mature guidance ,escapes from suffocating middle class life, marriage and its responsibilities to a prostitute to find some relief. He keeps running and running to escape but this journey of escape ends where it began. Whether Rabbit has valid reasons to feel disgusted and frustrated or not, in the novel, the narrator brings to light a widespread loss of moral fortitude, loss of sustaining religion and a pervasive spiritual laxity rampant in American middle-class society. It consistently portrays confused and unfulfilled characters, bereft of the emotional and psychological resources that sustained the earlier generations.
Cite this article:
Priti Verma. Rabbit, Run: Mirror and Criticism of Contemporary American Middle-Class. Res. J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2018; 9(1): 344-348. doi: 10.5958/2321-5828.2018.00062.1