Your Turn: Harold C. "Rabbit" Angstrom : In Character From the Rabbit novels by John UpdikeNominated by Cory Harris
NPR logo Your Turn: Harold C. "Rabbit" Angstrom

Your Turn: Harold C. "Rabbit" Angstrom

From the Rabbit novels by John Updike
Nominated by Cory Harris

The psyche of the mid-twenties male seems to be no different now than it was in 1960 when John Updike's Rabbit, Run hit the shelves. At 26, I am the same age as Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is as that novel opens, and like him I sometimes feel like escaping. The road goes for miles both ways and things just might be easier if I left it all behind.

The fact that Updike's seminal protagonist attempts this, though, is the wondrous thing about the work. When I immerse myself in Rabbit, I hate him and his selfishness, his indecision, and his fixation on past glory and present inconveniences.

But then I close the book, I can't help but feel a little dirty to realize that I have a little Rabbit in me. You can ditch those you're supposed to love, but they're going to get hurt -- and you're certainly not emerging unscathed, either.