Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Essay: "The Disposable Rocket." John Updike. 1993.

One-minute review: The author reflects on the male body and in the process contrasts it with the female's. The man's role in reproduction is like the rockets that propel the space capsule into space then fall away into the ocean. An interesting metaphor.


“Inhabiting a male body is much like having a bank account; as long as it’s healthy, you don’t think much about it. Compared to the female body, it is a low-maintenance proposition: a shower now and then, trim the fingernails every ten days, a haircut once a month. Oh yes, shaving—scraping or buzzing away at your face every morning. Byron, in Don Juan, thought the repeated nuisance of shaving balanced out the periodic agony, for females, of childbirth.”

“From the standpoint of reproduction, the male body is a delivery system, as the female is a mazy device for retention.”

“His body is, like a delivery rocket that falls away in space, a disposable means. Men put their bodies at risk to experience the release from gravity.”

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