AnEvaluation of John Updike's contribution to the thematic sphere of American fiction


  • Dr. Mehrunnisa M. Yunus
  • Dr.Tribhuwan Kumar



Social life, middle class, marriage, sex, religion, mortality, suburbia, games and sports.


John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. He has been recognized as a novelist of middle-class American people. He speaks of common life spent and shared by an average American. He has so effectively and successfully dealt with the themes of domestic fierceness within his middle-class people, their social existence that it is obvious to be considered one of the major contributions to the thematic sphere of fiction writing. Moreover, he contributed immensely so far as the exploration of the marital relationship, the ups, and downs in the marriedlife but ultimately admitting it as a sacrament. But the lion's share of his contribution in the thematic sphere of the American fiction genre goes to the probing of the goading aspect of man's life i.e. Sex which appeals to be the be-all and end-all of human life. His contribution to the treatment of religion is equally remarkable and noteworthy. Another significant contribution in the thematic field is popularizing writing about games and sports. Still another contribution is displayed by his deep concern for the inevitable end of men's life which, I never forget to speak of, in almost all of his novels and makes his remarkable contribution in the sphere of the description of mortality. Though most of these things were already treated by his predecessors,  Updike, handled them better and more competently than anyone else and thus, treasured the wealth of themes of American fiction in a great measure.