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The Life and Great Works of John Updike

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The Life and Great works of John Updike

An American novelist, short story writer and a poet, John Updike was a country boy with a great talent that needed to be unleashed. He wrote many novels and won many awards; his best works did involve the novels that told the story of a man's life. The best-known and most widely analyzed work, John Updike wrote a great series of novels depicting a reoccurring theme of the life of a man, and his dream to have his high school wonders once again.

Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Pennsylvania, outside of the big city and into the countryside. His parents were Wesley Russell Updike, his father, and Linda Grace (Hoyer) Updike, his mother. They raised John with great care and with great ambition to succeed in the harsh world. During his young life many things were taking place that would bring the American Society to a great fall; it was hard for a young American writer in the 1940's and 50's. Updike's schooling was like any typical family, not any kind of high-class private school, just a normal kid. He attended public schools in Shillington in 1936, and he graduates all his schooling, of the public school system, in 1950. Updike was class president, and graduated as co-valedictorian. After grade school he attended one of the greatest colleges in the United States, Harvard University. His

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writing was weak during grade school, but his great pieces came his senior year at Harvard. He became editor for the Harvard Lampoon, which is the school's newspaper.

With this under his belt for experience, Updike graduates from Harvard as the "Summa Cum Laude," that which is a great honor for him. Now entering the working world, Updike starts a new job in New York; he is employed at The New Yorker, as an article writer/reporter in 1955. During his time at the news-printing place, he writes many short stories and some novels. Soon after, two years later to be exact, he starts to become a full-time writer.

Updike and his wife, Mary E. Pennington daughter of Rev. Leslie T. Pennington and Elizabeth Daniels Pennington, decide to have a family. Their first child came in the year of 1955, it was a girl and Mary named her after her late mother, Elizabeth. Updike, being a man wanted a boy to carry the father's name so, two years later, January 19, 1957, they have a baby boy; they named him, David. They have two more kids the next three years, son Michael and daughter Miranda. Now having been a so-called "man," by having children, he begins his working life, and boy does it take flight. He published his first book in 1958 and it was called, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures; it was a collection of poetry. He continued to write poetry, but his greatest work was yet to come. Updike wrote his first novel, "The Poorhouse Fair, which was about residents of an elderly person's home base" (Gale-net/ Page 1).

This started his road to greatness; it led to the best-known works of John's writing career. His best work, "...a story about his famous hero, Harry Angstrom, the natural athlete, sexually magnetic, blue-eyed Swede, ended with the verb 'Rabbit.' In Rabbit,

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Redux Harry is a middle-aged bourgeois, who finds his life shattered by the infidelity of his wife" (Gale-net/ Page 1) took place when he wrote the four book series of this man. This Great achievement led to the beginnings of Harry's life in John's typewriter with the first novel, Rabbit Run in 1960. This first novel deals with how Harry wishes to once again return to the high school habits: drinking, sex, and all other things that took place. With his first novel out of the way, he writes a second, Rabbit Redux-which is Latin for brought back- it is published in 1971 and mirrors the unrest of the 1960's; it centers a threat in Rabbit's marriage, and still his horrible dream to reunite with his high school past. This novel received countless critical reaction from his fellow readers that was largely negative. Many people protested to the unpleasant talk of John sexual writing in these novels. Nevertheless, he continued and wrote the sequel to the book, Rabbit is Rich. This book, at first, received the same reaction from the public, as the novel before received. Despite



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