Essay on The Life and Times of John Updike

Essay on The Life and Times of John Updike

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Literary Research- The Life and Times
John Updike’s life is reflected in his works through family, experiences and religious events. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was an only child of Wesely and Grace Updike. He was raised in nearby small town of Shillington. His father was a high school science teacher and his mother was an aspiring writer. In her fifties, some of Mrs. Updike’s short stories were published in The New Yorker. For the majority of his childhood, John Updike lived in a house with his parents and grandparents. At the age of thirteen, his family made the move to an 80 acre farmhouse a few miles outside of Shillington, Pennsylvania. Moving to a rural area left Updike isolated, as a result he turned to literature for companionship. “I remember the sofa and the way I’d lie on it with a box of raisins on my stomach, and I’d eat the raisins and read” (Moyer). He continued his schooling and did so well that he became the president of his class and later on Co- Valedictorian.
From a very young age Updike read a great amount of popular fiction, more specifically mysteries and humor. After high school, for a couple of summers he worked for the Reading Eagle as a copy boy. Later he would go on to write stories for the company from time to time. Updike was an English major at the Harvard University. As an undergraduate he wrote numerous short stories and cartoons for the Harvard Lampoon, a humor magazine. In his senior year he was the magazine’s president. His junior year he met his soon to be wife Mary Pennington. In 1954, Updike graduated summa cum laude. A few months later he sold two separate works to The New Yorker Magazine.
John and Mary lived in England for a year while Upd...


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...rFILE Elite. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
“Farewell, King John of suburbia.” New Statesman 02 Feb. 2009: 5. Literary Center. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Hatcher, Nathan. "Sammy’s Motive." Ode to Friendship & Other Essays: Student Writing at Virginia Wesleyan College. Ed. Connie Bellamy. Norfolk, Virginia, 1996. 37
"John Updike." Biography. The Famous People, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
"John Updike Interview." -- Academy of Achievement. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2014
Moyer, Steve. "John Updike Biography." Neh.gov. National Endowment for the Humanities, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Shostak, Debra, and Bernard F. Rodgers Jr. “Biography of John Updike.” Critical Insights: John Updike (2011): 18-25. Literary Refernce Center. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Updike, John. “A&P.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eds. Edgar V. Roberts and Zweig. 5th Compact Ed. Boston: Longman, 2012. 311-315. Print.

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