John Updike: Views on Sex and Religion Reflected in his Writings Essay

John Updike: Views on Sex and Religion Reflected in his Writings Essay

Length: 1058 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

John Updike is unarguably one of the greatest writers in American history. His writing was famous for capturing the pain, joy, energy, and despair of being an ordinary person. Updike was intentional in writing about ordinary people as his focus was to write to middle-class American suburbia. His various works are artistically saturated with wit, intelligence, theological ideas, and sexual behavior. The website Academy of Achievement explains this thought by writing, “In an autobiographical essay, Updike famously identified sex, art, and religion as "the three great secret things" in human experience.” (AA). So, what made his works standout over other writing with spiritual and sexual overtones? Mr. Updike unapologetically injected the carnal sexual proclivities of his characters while also intermingling Protestant Christian theological paradigms. As a result, his readers were captivated by the proverbial tension of moral and spiritual duplicity.
John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1932. Later in life he would develop an affinity for providing the setting for many of his stories in the areas neighboring Reading (AA). Mr. Updike wrote affectionately about American life with an attitude of respect for its diversity. As mentioned earlier he enjoyed writing about people that were easily understood by middle-class Americans. His patriotism and religion formed a relationship with the common life experience of average Americans. His earliest aspiration was to become a cartoonist and later he desired to be a poet. He wrote many popular short stories however; his most celebrated works are among his novels.
Mr. Updike was a religious man with a Protestant perspective on his Christian faith. He also mad...

... middle of paper ...

... tantalized viewers, a prolific American writer exposed readers to the guilty pleasure of sexual illicit dramas.

Work cited
Academy of Achievement. Washington D.C., 11 August 2009. Web.
18 July 2010
Brooke, Allen. "John Updike, Literary High Priest Of Sex and
Suburbia, Is Dead at 76." Wall Street Journal. 28
Jan. 2009, Eastern edition: National Newspaper Abstracts
(3), ProQuest. Web. 18 Jul. 2010.
Buchanan, Mark. “Rabbit Trails to God”. Christianity Today. 1 July
2003. Web. 18 July 2010
Gopnik, Allen. “John Updike” New York Times. 9 February 2009.
Web. 18 July 2010.
Schopen, Bernard A. "Faith, Morality, and the Novels of John
Updike." Twentieth Century Literature 24.4 (1978):
523-26. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 18 July

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

John Dewey And Mr. Howard Zinn Essay

- As we delve into the writings of Mr. John Dewey and Mr. Howard Zinn we notice a shared theme between the two authors, balance. However, both philosophers view the approach to reaching balance in different ways. In Zinn’s article The Uses of Scholarship, Zinn states that knowledge is a form of power. I find a great deal of truth in this statement. The presidential election of 2016 is on the rise. With that being said, even the most uninformed voter will elect the candidate he/she feels is the most knowledgeable to run our country, the candidate he/she feels is the most qualified to become the leader of our free world....   [tags: Sociology, Mind, Unconscious mind, John Dewey]

Strong Essays
1599 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on The Writings Of John Calvin

- “John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism” (CCEL). A prominent theologian during the Protestant Reformation, his Institutes of the Christian Religion is still widely regarded today, and Calvinism continues to retain an enthusiastic following. To know how he Calvinism came to be to be we need to start at the beginning, Calvin was born in France, and raised in a staunch Roman Catholic family....   [tags: Protestant Reformation, John Calvin, Calvinism]

Strong Essays
1187 words (3.4 pages)

The Life and Writings of John Updike Essay

- John Updike is an amazing writer during his time. He wrote many short stories and poems. He is an American and is a literacy critic. He was widely praised as America's "last true man of letters", with a huge and far-reaching power on many writers. It is said that “John Updike has been called the most gifted writer of his generation; ‘Updike writes with the tongue of angels, and sees with the eye of a bird’” (Hamilton). Updike was well-recognized for his careful craftsmanship, and his unique prose style....   [tags: Biography ]

Strong Essays
1361 words (3.9 pages)

Essay The Writings of John Stuart Mill

- The writings of John Stuart Mill have been viewed as a pathway to becoming an individual and support for liberalism. Mill’s work On Liberty, promotes individuality as important for the positive progression of society and as good for everyone. Individualism is seen as necessary to having a progressive society that is accepting of other thoughts and lifestyles. The opinions of others is thought of as to be necessary to society, and “are rested not so much on its truth.” Mill writes from the Utilitarian view, which is taking actions that would most likely help the greatest amount of people, and this view looks at what a society should do and not what society is actually doing....   [tags: promoting individuality]

Strong Essays
1646 words (4.7 pages)

The Writings of John Smith: Historically Inaccurate Essay

- The colonization of North America was a process that was influenced by many people and organizations. Countries offered incentives for citizens to relocate to the New World, while explorers charmed potential settlers with promises of wealth, joy, and freedom through literary works. Many British citizens read these accounts and left for the continent, believing that the newly discovered world was a modern-day Promised Land. John Smith was one explorer who influenced British settlement of North America through his inspiring works The General History of Virginia and A Description of New England....   [tags: Inaccuracy, North America]

Strong Essays
888 words (2.5 pages)

Why Shouldn’t Tommy and Jim Have Sex? An Essay by John Corvino

- ... By this he means that society condemns sexuality that does not aid in assisting what natural law theorists find most important, reproduction. However, he disputes that non-reproductive homosexual relationships are immoral and unnatural, because the Catholic Church allows sex with sterile, pregnant and menopausal people. Each of these factors are not condemned as immoral by society even if they are indeed misusing the natural function of the organs. Corvino connects this argument about inconsistency’s to describe how homosexuality does not harm the self or others....   [tags: gay sex, morality, natural]

Strong Essays
849 words (2.4 pages)

The Writings of John Updike Essay

- The Writings of John Updike         John Updike's Rabbit books tell the story of a man whose life is in constant turmoil. Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom's downward spiral started the day his senior basketball season ended. Rabbit was a basketball jock; he knew nothing else. He married his high school sweetheart more out of convenience than love and worked in the same printing press as his father. Rabbit couldn't face the working world, couldn't face his parents, and couldn't face his wife and son. He was constantly caught somewhere in the middle ground between righteousness and sinful pleasure....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Free Essays
2921 words (8.3 pages)

The Writings of John Donne Essays

- The 17th century opened with a generation of great social change which culminated in the eventual execution of King Charles I in 1649. This created an atmosphere of conflict that permeates much of the literature of the period. The writings of John Donne are rife with this conflict, reflecting in their content a view of love and women radically and cynically altered from that which preceding generations of poets had handed down. John Donne's view of love deviated greatly from the Medieval philosophy of courtly love, which had been expressed in poetry handed down from the sonnets of such poetic giants as Sidney and Petrarch....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Strong Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

The Life and Writings of John Steinbeck Essay

- “It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.” John Steinbeck said this of all humankind. He thought highly of us as a species, just as Dr. Stockmann did in Henrik Ibsen’s play Enemy of the People. Both men had problems in their societies, Stockmann in his town and Steinbeck in America, and both believed that humans were capable of seeing the problem and fixing it. The rest of the population did not see this as the case....   [tags: Biography]

Strong Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

A Summery of the Life and Writings of John Stuart Mill Essay examples

- A Summery of the Life and Writings of John Stuart Mill After reading 100% of the book, New Ideas From Dead Economists, I chose to write a little summery of John Stuart Mill. I did a little outside research on the subject, because his theories and philosophies were intriguing to me. I was impressed by his change in his views as he entered his mid twenties. John Stuart Mill was born in London on May 20, 1806, and was the oldest son of James Mill. His education, as a boy, was carried out by his father, James Mill....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)