The short story “Pygmalion” by John Updike begins with a man named Pygmalion describing his likes and dislikes of his first wife. He likes “her gift of mimicry,” but dislikes that “she would ask to have her backed rubbed and then, under his laboring hands, night after night fall asleep” (Trust Me 90). Pygmalion likes his second wife’s attribute of “her liveliness in bed” (Trust Me 90). He also “unconsciously” wants his second wife to perform imitations, but she does not. The second wife eventually figures out what her husband wants and does an imitation. She is lively in bed and makes him laugh with imitations: “She had become perfect for him” (Trust Me 92). But soon the second wife too asks for a back rub and “night after night,...
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...eams of C” (Problems 150). His use of everyday life, feelings and desires makes the fictional story believable. Updike’s emphasis on relationships possibly indicates his own idea that relationships between a men and women are important, especially in the ordinary lives of ordinary people.
Detweiler, Robert. John Updike. Twayne Publishers: Boston, 1972. 173.
“John Updike Biography.” Academy of Achievment. 2009. Washington D.C. 9 March 2010.
Updike, John. “The Alligators.” The Same Door. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1959. 210-219.
- - -. “Problems.” Problems and Other Stories. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1979. 150-153.
- - -. “Pygmalion.” Trust me. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1987. 90-92.
- - -. “Wife-wooing.” Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories. Fawcett Publications: Greenwich, 1962. 79-83.
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