Ex Basketball Player By John Updike Analysis Essay

Poetry Explication Of "The Ex Basketball Player" By John Updike

The poem "The Ex-Basketball Player" by John Updike dramatizes the conflict between dreams and reality in the case of Flick Webb. Flick shows such promise in his teenage years, but he ends up in the pathetic reality of helping out at a garage and playing pinball in a luncheonette. The poem begins with the description of "Pearl Avenue" which "bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off / Before it has a chance to go two blocks..." Pearl Avenue presents a ticket name connoting a clean, freshness which describes the state of Flick in high school, his glory days. The fact that the street stops before it goes two blocks displays the harsh end of Flick's success. His prosperity ends with his adolescence; his seemingly assured future becomes a mere wistful memory. At the end of Pearl Avenue sits Berth's Garage which situates on a corner "facing west"; Flick helps Berth out there on most days. Facing west connotes the setting of the sun and the ending of a day. It is fitting that Pearl Avenue ends in darkness. Garages have grease and filth in abundance; this contrasts sharply with the shiny, cleanness of a pearl. The poet's use of diction in the first stanza stresses Flick's riches to rags journey.

The second stanza contains a comparison of the gas pumps Flick works with at the garage to the players on a basketball team. He "stands tall among the idiot pumps..."; the description of them as "idiot" pumps perhaps illustrates the mediocre intelligence of basketball players, but because Flick "stands tall" among them he is obviously of a higher caliber. The poet personifies the pumps further as humans with "One's nostrils are two S's, and his eyes /An E and O." using the letters of the brand name as human characteristics. These "team members" remind Flick daily of what he could have been.

The third stanza discusses Flick's high school greatness and contains the only line where the speaker refers to himself in the first person. Flick played for a high school team called "the Wizards". Wizard denotes magic and wonder and connotes in this case something too good to be true. The next line says, "He was good; in fact, the best. In '46..." while the...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Views of Women in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant A&P by John Updike

1138 words - 5 pages Views of Women in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant A&P by John Updike "The Necklace" by Guy De Maupassant, and "A&P" by John Updike were written in two different centuries by two authors of very different backgrounds. However, each story expresses very similar views about women. The women in these stories are self-centered creatures who control men with their sexuality, and end up damaging the men's life. The main character in "The...

Literary Review of Rabbit Run by John Updike

4178 words - 17 pages Literary Review of Rabbit Run by John Updike John Updike's novel, Rabbit, Run, is about a man named Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom. Rabbit is a brainless guy whose career as a high school basketball star peaked at age 18. In his wife's view, he was, before their early, hasty marriage, already drifting downhill. We meet him for the first time in this novel, when he is 22, and a salesman in the local department store. Married to the second best...

A & P, by John Updike

2288 words - 9 pages The short story “A & P” by John Updike is about a young man’s decision to stand up for others or, in the other characters’ opinions, make a foolish decision by abandoning his responsibility. At first he believes his decision is the right thing, quitting his job for how the girls were being treated. Then when he gets outside of the store, he realizes the world he just left behind, regrets his decision, and begins to question his actions. He starts...

A&A by john Updike

529 words - 2 pages Sammy, a character created by John Updike in the short story A & P, works in the local A & P supermarket. Distracted by a group of young women that has come into the store wearing only a bathing suit, his mind wonders while helping other customers at his register. Sammy begins to daydream about the girls, even giving one a nickname. As he watches them go through the...

Explication of John Donne's The Flea

1167 words - 5 pages On the surface, John Donne’s poem “The Flea” dramatizes the conflict between two people on the issue of premarital sex, however, under the surface, the poem uses religious imagery to seduce the woman into having sex. The speaker in this poem is a man, who is strategically trying to convince a woman to have premarital sex with him through the conceit based on a flea, however, the coy lady has thus far yielded to his lustful desires. The...

Poetry Explication of "Spring & Fall", by Gerard Manley Hopkins

911 words - 4 pages The poem "Spring and Fall" by Gerard Manley Hopkins is a poem focusing on the brevity of life, and the grief that is felt in the hearts of all mankind throughout our lives. It is also about the sadness felt by humans as we see ourselves aging, and ultimately about the fact that sin and separation from

Risky Attire: A&P by John Updike

1245 words - 5 pages In “A & P”, John Updike conveys the reaction of bystanders to three young women when they enter a grocery store, dressed in swim wear during a day at the beach. The ladies begin touring the store in search of Kingfish Fancy Herring Snacks for Queeie’s mother. Lengel, the store manager, takes notice of the girl’s attire as they navigate to the cashier to pay for their snack and disapprovingly confronts them. During Lengel’s conversation at the...

"Claudius and Gertrude" by John Updike

559 words - 2 pages "Claudius and Gertrude", by John Updike, is a prelude to Hamlet. It starts with a short overview of Gertrude’s childhood. However, her name was Gerthude, the name from the original Latin text of the ancient Hamlet legend from the “Historia Danica of Saxo Grammaticus.” Other names are changed as well. Claudius is named Feng, Hamlet is Amleth, and Polonius is Corambus.Gertrude as a child was married off unwillingly at the...

Sex in "Rabbit Redux" by John Updike

1403 words - 6 pages The return to John Updike's famous character Harry Angstrom, better known as Rabbit, occurs after a gap of ten years from the previous book. Rabbit, now definitely past his prime, has lost his athleticism, his sex life, and the excitement he once sought. Sex is a very central subject in

Analysis of the short story "A&P" by Updike

766 words - 3 pages "A&P" by John Updike is a story of an important event that matures and gives knowledge to Sammy, a young grocery store clerk. The story begins one summer day as three girls wearing bathing suits enter the store. Sammy fantasizes about the girls' bodies and appearances. Then when the girls come up to the...

Poetry explication on Easter 1916 by Yates

996 words - 4 pages The RebellionGreat poets undeniably have an ability to seize upon particular incidents and use them to explore and illuminate the human condition. In William Butler Yeats Poem, "Easter, 1916" he does just that. This poem commemorates the Easter Rising of 1916, in...

Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,

Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off

Before it has a chance to go two blocks,

At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage

Is on the corner facing west, and there,

Most days, you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—

Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,

Their rubber elbows hanging loose and low.

One’s nostrils are two S’s, and his eyes

An E and O. And one is squat, without

A head at all—more of a football type.

Once Flick played for the high-school team, the Wizards.

He was good: in fact, the best. In ’46

He bucketed three hundred ninety points,

A county record still. The ball loved Flick.

I saw him rack up thirty-eight or forty

In one home game. His hands were like wild birds.

He never learned a trade, he just sells gas,

Checks oil, and changes flats. Once in a while,

As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube,

But most of us remember anyway.

His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench.

It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though.

Off work, he hangs around Mae’s Luncheonette.

Grease-gray and kind of coiled, he plays pinball,

Smokes those thin cigars, nurses lemon phosphates.

Flick seldom says a word to Mae, just nods

Beyond her face toward bright applauding tiers

Of Necco Wafers, Nibs, and Juju Beads.

0 Thoughts to “Ex Basketball Player By John Updike Analysis Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *