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Ophelia Fights Back Women and Their Role In Updikes Rabbit Run Several common stereotypes of women are put forth in Updikes Rabbit Run Utilizing the characters of Ruth Leonard Janice Lucy Eccles Mrs Springer and Mrs Angstrom Updike illustrates many different classic stereotypical views of women Through these women examples of the whore the wife the unknowing temptress and the mother are presented By examining each of these women we learn about women as a whole and what they can be There is no single dimension or picture of what a woman is or for that matter of what a human being is The women in this novel are very representational of images that are perpetuated by society Updike illustrates several of the innumerable aspects of a woman and womankind through his use of characters that while seemingly different from a distance are not so dissimilar upon examination They are all in some way a form of protection standing between Rabbit and the outside world Trachtenberg 96 He shows through the various portrayals of women how society views and classifies them He makes them similar in many ways to show that a woman can not easily be stereotyped because of the many dimensions to the female and the human character Ruth Leonard joins the ranks of such famous literary images as Mary Magdalene as she is representative of the whore While the historical basis for Mary Magdalenes reputation as a prostitute is shaky at best Ruth Leonard is a self-admitted and properly described prostitute She exchanges sexual favors for money so that she can continue to live an independent lifestyle unhampered by any man or other person Ruth uses her body to get what she needs because she does not have the confidence to trust her mind Yet there is little of the cold-hearted and businesslike whore in her character Her self-esteem is quite low and she allows Rabbit to
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