This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Life And Times Of John Updike

1496 words - 6 pages

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 Updike studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford. There he met two editors of The New Yorker, E. B. and Katherine White. They encouraged him to pursue employment with the company. For two years he was the staff writer for The New Yorker. His position consisted of writing editorials, features and reviews. By this time he had two children under the age of ten. The family decided to move to Ipswich, Massachusetts. He would live in Massachusetts for the duration of his life. To support his growing family, he became a full time writer for The New Yorker but did not accept a salaried position. Throughout his life he kept a working relationship with The New Yorker and often had his works appear in the paper. Updike holds a large collection of awards, the most impressive being two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction.
Updike has published “twenty-four novels, a play, a memoir, children’s books, and numerous collections of poetry, short stories, and essays and criticism” (Shostak 19). His poetry was humble and included light verse. He gathered inspiration from Ogden Nash’s witty poems in the time period between 1930 and 1940. Nash was a fan of rhyming, "I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years...

Find Another Essay On The Life and Times of John Updike

John F. Kennedy: Life and Times

1095 words - 5 pages . John Fitzgerald Kennedy was now president. He was one of the youngest presidents elected (age 43) and he was the first Catholic American president. He was president for about 3 years or so, before he was assassinated at the age 46. During the Cold War, which was the main part of JFK’s presidency, “the U.S. government secretly tried to overthrow Cuba’s new communist dictator, Fidel Castro, by helping Cuban exiles invade their homeland at the

The Life And Times Of William Shakespeare

1348 words - 6 pages The Life and Times of William Shakespeare Unless you've lived in a cave for your entire life, you've probably heard the phrases "To be or not to be that is the question," and "Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo?" hundreds of times. You probably know that the man that wrote them was William Shakespeare, but what do you really know about him? Was he rich or poor? Where did he grow up? When did he write his first play? Actually

The Life and Times of Charles Bukowski

1517 words - 7 pages I've shared an item with you. AllysonKim Snapshot of the item below: Kim Allyson Kim English IV CP; Period 3 Mr. Escalante 27 May 2014 The Life and Times of Charles Bukowski One night in Andernach, West Germany, a sergeant in the United States Army serving in Germany crossed paths with a woman following the defeat of Germany from World War I. He had an affair with her, Katharina, whom was a German friend’s sister, and she became

The Life And Times Of Al Capone

1401 words - 6 pages The Life and Times of Al Capone Alphonse Capone was born in New York City by two parents Gabriel and Teresa Capone. Capone's parents immigrated to the United States in 1893 from Naples, Italy. Capone came from a large family and was the fourth oldest of nine children. (Kobler 10). As a child, Capone was very wise when it came to living on the streets of New York. He had a clever mind when it came to street smarts. As far as school goes

The life and times of Maya Angelou

631 words - 3 pages The Life and Times of a "Phenomenal Woman"Maya Angelou is one of the greatest poets of all time. Angelou's work reflects her life and times; but no matter the obstacles that she had to overcome, they only made her stronger. As a Black woman growing up in a predominantly White neighborhood, receiving recognition was not always easy. However, through hard work and perseverance, she has surpassed all the other poets of the Modern Era.Marguerite

The Life And Times of Sophocles

955 words - 4 pages are some connections between events in Sophocles’ life and his plays Oedipus and Antigone. Not much is known about this known about this brilliant playwright, but what is known about him is that he “had an unusually long, successful, productive, and apparently happy life” (Ancient Athenian Drama” 701).Sophocles was born in the village of Colonus, near Athens, around 496 B.C.E (“Ancient Athenian Drama” 701). It is believed that his father made

The Life and Times of Lucille Ball

1848 words - 7 pages The Life and Times of Lucille Ball "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." That quote was one that Lucille Ball lived by throughout her twisted and turbulent life. As one of the most recognized faces in the world, she is known to millions simply as Lucy. She went from waitress and salesgirl to model to Goldwyn Girl to radio clown to an unlikely leading

The Life and Times of Daniel Massey

1818 words - 7 pages recognized. If he did, he certainly wouldn’t be residing in rural Missouri. To Daniel, painting is a way to escape from his daily life. As a Union worker living with five children and an even a larger abundance of Great Danes, a moment of peace can be hard to come by. He doesn’t always know where his next paycheck is coming from, or if even the food stocked away in the pantry will last them until the end of the week. Yet, Daniel is forever

The Life and Times of a Friend

859 words - 4 pages parents. This friend is and always will be there for the most important milestones in your life such as: Prom, High school graduation, birthdays, your wedding, as well as the birth and christening of your children. Every waking moment with this friend is full of weirdness, silliness and a dictionary full of made up words. The best thing about having a friend like this is that when you both part ways and don’t see each other for a while; the next

Life And Times Of Jimmy The Fearless

1229 words - 5 pages influence was his love for women. All together Chaplin has been married three times, has been divorced twice, and has fathered six children. This was said about Chaplin's infamous love life: The lovers lane Charlie Chaplin has trod is strewn thick with every kind of romance. No man in modern history has loved and been loved by so many beautiful, brilliant, and famous women

"The Life and Times of Nathaniel Hawthorne"

2744 words - 11 pages Fanshawe for one-hundred dollars, he became so ashamed of the book that he had it burned. He began to write for a number of periodicals, anonymously. "Hawthorne joined the ranks of America's greatest writer" (Reynolds 3). Along with writing, Hawthorne did work for his Uncle Samuel Manning, which included horse-trading. In 1830, Hawthorne went to Niagara and Detroit. Hawthorne sent letters to his sisters, which reflected "the life of his imagination

Similar Essays

The Life And Writings Of John Updike

1406 words - 6 pages for his careful craftsmanship, and his unique prose style. He wrote on average a book a year. Despite in his books about characters, themes, and attitudes, John Updike based his writings on his life experiences because he wanted to put a personal feeling in his books. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was raised in a small town of Shillington. He grew up being the only child. He lived with his father Wesley

The Life And Times Of John Milton

1424 words - 6 pages John Milton lived from 1608 to 1674 and was therefore a major part of the Neoclassical Period. Paradise Lost by John Milton was and still is an extremely controversial piece of literature. I have found that the more controversial and disputed a subject is, the more interesting it is to read about. Christianity is a notoriously touchy subject, so naturally I was pulled towards Paradise Lost. When I began my research on this “lost

Short Story Summary Of "The A&P" By John Updike

651 words - 3 pages "The A&P"In the short story, " The A&P," by John Updike, the author seeks to make his point using an unlikely setting and scenario. Using a supermarket as a metaphor for a society, Updike illustrates how breaking the norms of society evokes fear and brings about intolerance in people. When a society is accustomed to only one way of doing things it will not be accept anything different. Members of a society fear change, and only behavior

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

782 words - 3 pages 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