Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Walsh


The choice of subject matter for this thesis has, in part at least, been prompted by the uproar caused by the publication of the Couples by John Updike in 1968. Re-viewers could not make up their collective minds about the book-whether it was exceedingly filthy and obscene because of the inclusion of irrelevant explicitness in dealing with the sexual interrelations of the couples involved, the true story of Updike and his Ipswich, Massachusetts friends, or a comment on contemporary life which is indicative of the sociological directions of middle class man. A minority of the reviewers, however, did appear to realize that perhaps Updike was feeling the national pulse in the same way as todays advertisers attempt to sell their products, while also indicating that Americans excessive and almost masochistic interest in sex is related to other basic problems inherent in the society.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1969 Patricia E. Lucas