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Summer by David Updike

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Devon Dunajski

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Summer by David Updike

Summer by David Updike

Complex Character Relationships
Homer's passive nature and his elevation of Sandra to "goddess" prevents him from perusing his romantic interest in her. This complicates their relationship creating tension and the central conflict.
The Season of Summer
The passage of summer represents the validity of Homer and Sandra's relationship.
The setting takes place in a world that's separate from his normal life. Theoretically, anything is possible here.
There is evidence that Sandra reciprocated Homer's feelings, but since he didn't pursue a relationship with her at the beginning of summer, he missed his opportunity. Now, he'll never know if it would have worked out.
A little bit about Summer
, the main character, Homer, spends the month of August at his best friend, Fred 's, lake house where he develops a crush on Fred 's sister, Sandra. However, Homer is reluctant to believe that she feels the same way and lets the opportunity pass him by, only to discover at the end of the summer that the feeling was mutual.
In his short story, Summer, David Updike uses complex character relationships, summer as a symbol for the passage of time, and a setting that remove's the characters from their normal lives to remind us you'll never know if you don't try.
Homer is Passive and Shy
Homer is Intimidated by Sandra
"At the last mile or so he left her, sprinting down the path."
His closeness to her lead to claustrophobia

is he intimidated by Sandra?
Sandra is on a Pedestal
Homer is intimidated by Sandra because he puts her above everyone else
"To touch her or to kiss her seemed... absurd"
"warm glow of her presence"

Homer stresses her innocence and perfection to the point where she becomes an ideal or a goddess
Mentions her pale skin and lack of a tan
"Hair of a baby, freckles of a child, and the sway of motherhood"
Her "warm glow" is like a halo

Reminds us it can be dangerous to do
Summer as a Symbol
Common literary symbol
Often represents the height of youth, passion and desire
When summer transitions to fall it often represents aging or death.
Passage of Time
The passage of summer represents the validity of Homer and Sandra's relationship.
At the beginning of summer their relationship is full of promise
That wanes as summer turns to fall
Constantly reminded of the passage of time
"...he stepped out...and sensed... that something had changed. "
"With the slow inexorable seeping of an hourglass"
Summer Romance
In this case, the viability of Homer and Sandra's romance is aging.
The relationship is destined to be a summer romance.
It cannot exist in the fall
Nothing blooms or grows in the fall, it withers
Might not be practical in the context of their normal lives.
"He lived in a blessed realm in between two worlds"
However, there is a limit to the time spent here.

"Life of summer went on in the silent knowledge that, with the slow, inexorable speed of an hourglass, it was turning into fall"
Quote marks a shift in the text
This creates an environment where Homer can experience something new, as long as he takes the chance. However, he must seize the opportunity before it passes him by
Everyone can relate
"Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven’t done"
~Chad Michael Murray

Everyone has regretted a missed opportunity at some point in their life.
The story reminds us of that fact.
"Her toe twitched, but her foot remained. It was only then... that he realized she was his accomplice, and that, although this was as far as it would ever go, his love had been reciprocated."
The Big Picture
This is not just true for relationships.
Whether we think a relationship is out of reach, a college is too selective, or getting your dream job seems unlikely, you can't let fear hold you back because the opportunity won't always be there and if you try it might work out. But, if you don't try you'll never know for sure if you could have succeeded.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Homer is Passive
Only Participates in leisure sports like Tennis
He prefers to watch Sandra rather than interact with her
Rather than ask her to go sailing when she mentions it, he lets it go.

Homer is Shy
He wants to catch her attention
"On the tennis court she was indifferent... to his heroics
Sandra Felt the Same Way
"...infinity, eternity, an imagined universe with no bounds."
"...freed from the complications of his own family"
Full transcript