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Word Count: 466
Potential Its a word thats thrown around when people think you can do something great be it in academics the arts or sports Ex-Basketball Player by John Updike is a poem about a man named Flick Webb whose wasted potential has led him to a dismal melancholy life The narrator is a former fan that portrays Flick as a daydreamer fantasizing about his glory days The first stanza sets the present setting Flick is working on and off at a gas station just a couple blocks from his former high school which relates to the whole living in the past theme The street Pearl Avenue symbolizes Flicks life it runs past the high school and then is cut off Before it has a chance to go two blocks This symbolizes Flick because his career was cut short also the street is called Pearl Street which is funny seeing as pearls are considered to be pretty valuable The second and fifth stanzas emphasize on the fact that Flick often spends his time fantasizing about being in the spotlight In the second stanza Updike describes Flick as hes standing tall among the idiot pumps- Five on a side this is clearly a reference to his old basketball days when he was the star player and in the line one is squat without A head at allmore of a football type Updike is describing Flick hanging out with his former Jock friends In the fifth stanza Updike shows that even in his personal time all he does is fantasize This time hes hanging out at Maes luncheonette where hes just nodding toward bright applauding tiers Of Necco Wafers Nibs and Juju Beads The point Updike is trying to get across is that Flick lives in the past because his present basically sucks The third and fourth stanzas contrast Flick in high school and present-day Flick In the third stanza Flick is portrayed as a
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