Ex Basketball Player By John Updike Summary

478 Words2 Pages
Delve-In Response In the poem “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike there is a use of many literary devices such as, personification, imagery, similes, and metaphors to help get the main message across. The central message of the poem is that success isn’t always permanent. First, when Flick was the best basketball player in high school, he played in front of audiences filled with adoring fans. Now through the personification of gas pumps, the reader sees the contrast of his life post success. “Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—/ Five on a side, the old bubble- head style,/ Their rubber elbows hanging loose and low./ One’s nostrils are two S’s, and his eyes an E and O. And one is squat, without/Ahead at all- more of a football type.”…show more content…
Flick nods to "bright applauding tiers/ Of Necco Wafers, Nibs, and Juju Beads." (29-30). The only audience behind Flick is simply simply a counter of snacks. Also, the imagery shown in the quote “bright applauding tiers” again suggests the crowds that came to watch Flick in his glory. Next, through the use of a simile, the reader gets a sense of the freedom that came with Flick’s success. “In one home game. his hands were like wild birds.” (18). Comparing Flick’s hands to wild birds, is a specifically included, because wild birds are animals that represent freedom. This simile implies how as a teenager Flick lived life carefreely, focusing on basketball, not worry about his future, or questioning if his success will last. The simile is a huge contrast to the life Flick now lives. Flick has never been able to escape the small town he grew up in, and is stuck there with a degrading job. He no longer has the unlimited range of possibilities for his future, like when he was a teenager. Lastly, in the beginning of the poem there is a significant metaphor, where Flick is like the street. “Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,/ Bends with the trolley tracks,/ and stops, cut off/ Before it has a chance

    More about Ex Basketball Player By John Updike Summary

      Open Document