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John B. Updike's Short Story "Trust Me"

1173 words - 5 pages

John B. Updike is a novelist, poet, short story author, playwright, children’s book author, literary critic, art critic, and essayist. Updike is one of the world’s most versatile, serious, and prolific writers. Though his writing style and subjects vary greatly, he is committed to addressing the moral, social, and cultural conditions of his generation. Updike was born on March 18, 1932 and raised in a small town by the name of Shillington, Pennsylvania, right outside of Reading. He lived there as an only child, until the age of thirteen. As he grew older, he attended Harvard University, where he majored in English and contributed to and later edited the Harvard Lampoon. In 1955 he married his first wife Mary Pennington, with whom he had his four children. After the first marriage was dissolved, he married Martha Bernhard in 1977. They were happily married and lived in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, until his death on January 27, 2009, from lung cancer. Throughout his life he wrote more than 50 books and short stories, one being “Trust Me.” “Trust Me” was written in 1987 and was one of John Updike’s primary works.
In John B. Updike’s short story, “Trust Me,” he doesn’t follow a set setting for the entire story. He jumps to many different settings in the story, the first being a swimming pool. Harold, the main character, is a young boy at the swimming pool with his mother and father, where he attempts to jump into the swimming pool while his father is waiting to catch him. He goes to jump into his father’s arms, but his father doesn’t catch him, so he fell into the water not knowing how to swim. Years later, he married his first wife who had dreaded flying. They were on an airplane and he promised her that if her fear was so acute that she would never have to fly with him again. She trusted him that everything would be okay, but then the pilot’s voice came on the speakers and said, “Folks, there’s a little warning light come on for one of our starboard engines, and in conformance with our policy of absolute security we’re going to circle around and return to the Rome airport.” That said alone, less than a year later they were separated, not only did they have to go through the divorce, but their children did as well. Another setting that followed that was with his daughter, whom they do not name in the story, and her braces. His daughter had a loose wire gouging the inside of her cheek, so he was going to try and fix it with pliers, but when he did she had moved and all the book says is, “…there’s this little sharp end-oops...” so he must have hurt her mouth, therefore, her trust for him was gone as well as his first wife. He then took his second wife, Priscilla, and her children to a ski slope where she was staying safe on the smaller slopes while he was on the top of the mountain. He talked her into going to the top of the mountain with him, telling her everything would be okay and the view is beautiful. She trusted him...

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