John Updike

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WORDS  428

John Updike




Men and women have depended on each other forever. The unique bond between the male and female is often discussed through literature. John Updike examines male freedom as a myth. Through his writing, John Updike shows a man’s need of women.
In the novel “Marry Me” by John Updike an ordinary suburban love affair is illustrated. Jerry is a man, engulfed by self-hatred, as well as raging anger. Sally, his mistress, is a depressed and confused woman lacking self-confidence. Jerry is in a marriage with Ruth, but it is by name only. The true elements of love, passion and pure sexual appetite are only exhibited through the love affair Jerry is having with Sally.
Men are the focus of John Updike’s literature. Using male characters allows Updike to open up a feminized world. The men in Updike’s novels are victims of forces, which only the reader understands, but the character does not.
Women are usually the only masculine pursuit in John Updike’s novels that offer the promise of relief. Jerry lives in a typical Connecticut suburb. His home lacks the usual male obsession of both work and sports. Jerry’s only urge for advancement was for money purposes.
Unlike the traditional love triangle, which leaves two men fighting for one woman, Updike puts Ruth and Sally in competition for one man. John Updike provides the character assessment of Jerry to be one of a man with boyish hope for pure love with the “perfect” woman and his underlying wants and needs to love, as well as his helplessness to understand his own complicated life.
In numerous pieces of John Updike’s literature when the male character finds the woman of their dreams, he will eventually begin to hate her. Jerry conquers Sally and overpowers her concerns for her small children, her marriage, as well as her devotion to family and her financial security. However, he is extremely unwilling to change, but in the same way unable to remain the same man. He knows what he desires in a woman. Jerry wants a warm woman, yet he stays with a cold woman. Ruth (Jerry’s wife) keeps both his anger and contempt alive, but he still stays with her. He looks in turn to his mistress Sally to give him strength and encouragement. However, by sally giving Jerry the support he will truly craves, she allows him to become frustrated and angry at her for threatening to demolish the hatred, which binds him to Ruth forever. By acting in this confusing manner Jerry is pushing Sally away. His dependen...

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