Interior Space Invaders: Disruptive Neighbors and the Relational Self in Updike’s Rabbit Redux

Contrary to the solipsism emphasized in most discussions of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy, this article examines the tenuous and improper community Harry Angstrom forms when he invites two members of enemy groups to stay in his house. Drawing from Kierkegaard’s “neighbor-love” and Levinas’s phenomenological ethics, I argue that the presence of others shatters Harry’s selfhood, demonstrating a relational identity that replaces the egoism often associated with Updike.

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