John Updike: Roger's Version (1601 words)


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In the second instalment of his “The Scarlet Letter Trilogy” after A Month of Sundays (1985), John Updike sought in Roger’s Version (1986 [2006]) to give voice to Roger Chillingworth, the learned and cuckolded husband of the bearer of the scarlet A, Hester Prynne. The Roger of the title is Roger Lambert, an alter ego for Roger Chillingworth, with whom he shares his first name. Roger Lambert is a professor in a city that could well be Boston (in the novel it is identified as an unnamed Northeastern city); moreover, it has been pointed out that Roger’s college could be Harvard Divinity School. To further stress the Puritan resonance of the novel and its particular setting, his son attends Pilgrim …

Citation: Gomez-Galisteo, M. Carmen. "Roger's Version". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 November 2009 [, accessed 21 September 2020.]

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