John Updike Discussion


Read the following:
  • Chapters 4 and 5, setting and point of view: pp.127-128, 145-154 (Think about setting in Rose for Emily and Bartleby and pp.146-148 before turning  to the discussion board topic, which asks you to focus on John Updikes A&P, .pp. 334-338.
1.  Discussion Board: In A&P how does setting shape ones attitude toward the narrator 
Some of you or your friends may have had jobs like the narrators! If so, does this influence your attitude? (I had a newspaper delivery route that I inherited from my older brother and passed on to my younger brother, so my relationship to my customers was not like that in the story. It was private, one-to-one. Tips at Christmas time gave me some idea of how the customers felt.  I collected once a week. The price was 20 cents for six issues.  When the price went up to 25 cents, I was afraid I’d lose my customers.)

For the Chat Room Discussion:
On pp. 127-128 your text mentions how time, location and physical features of a setting may contribute to the meaning of a story. For example, in A Rose for Emily the Grierson house as setting recalls a time in which social values were quite different from those in the present. As a result Emily Grierson seems out of place, a monument to a world that no longer exists.
The setting of Wall Street in Melvilles story suggests how isolated, out of touch, the business world is from traditional moral values, such as compassion for the unfortunate.
Setting may be related to narrative technique and point of view. For example, Faulkners narrator sees Emily as a monument to the past and, as such, an object of curiosity. How do you react to this attitude? As a modern businessman Melvilles narrator struggles to find out how to deal with Bartleby. Is his behavior shaped by the Wall Street environment? In A&P the environment of a chain grocery store may workers attitudes.  


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