Flick Webb was once a great basketball player. He was tall and muscular, and he could dunk the ball with ease. But then he got injured and his career came to an abrupt end.
Now, Flick is a character in a John Updike poem. The poem is called “Ex-Basketball Player,” and it’s about a man who has to come to terms with his new reality.
In the poem, Flick is described as being “reduced” and “shrunken.” He’s no longer the star athlete that he once was. And he has to grapple with the fact that his best days are behind him.
“Ex-Basketball Player” is a sad poem, but it’s also a very relatable one. Many people can relate to the feeling of being reduced or shrunken. We all have our own Flick Webbs inside of us.
When John Updike wrote “Ex-Basketball Player,” he likely wasn’t thinking about Flick Webb as a character in a poem. But that’s what Flick has become. And in some ways, he’s more real to us than any actual basketball player could ever be.
In the poem “Ex-Basketball Player,” John Updike emphasizes the idea that some people spend their whole lives thinking about the past rather than focusing on their future. Flick Webb, a male character in the poem, was a star basketball player in high school. He appears to be caught up in what he used to be rather than what he is presently.
The poem is set in a bar and the speaker is talking to Flick. The speaker tries to get Flick to see that he should not be living in the past and that he has to move on with his life. The poem ends with the line “A sadder and a wiser man, he rose the morrow morn.” This line shows that even though Flick is living in the past, the speaker still believes that he can change and become a better person.
He is passive, unwilling to face his problems and allow himself the chance to move on. He spends too much time reminiscing about the past and failing to focus on what he could be doing with his life now. Mae is the one Updike emphasizes in this poem. The tone of the poem establishes the theme clearly. He makes it appear serene, yet the poem is sad because we feel for Flick as well as how his life has altered. In order to make the topic obvious, Updike employs a variety of literary techniques in the poem.
An example is when he uses symbols, such as when Flick is “shooting baskets in the rain.” This could be symbolic for how his life is going nowhere and that he is just wasting it away. Overall, John Updike’s poem “The Character” is about a former basketball player named Flick Webb who has let his life pass him by and is now stuck in the past. The poem has a depressing tone, but uses literary devices to make the theme clear.
In “Flick Webb, a Man of Apathy,” the speaker discusses Flick Webb and his unenthusiastic existence. He informs the reader about Flick Webb’s outstanding skill as a basketball player in high school. The conclusion of the poem is that Flick Webb’s exceptional basketball ability had been buried beneath his everyday life. There is some pity in the towns people’s eyes toward him. It was as if there was an amazing talent that was or wasn’t realized but never pursued.
The poem John Updike’s “The Character & Flick Webb” is about a small-town basketball player who never made it big. The speaker in the poem talks about Webb’s talent as a player and how he was never able to make it to the NBA. The speaker also talks about how the people in Webb’s town felt sorry for him because they knew that he had potential but never pursued it. In the end, the speaker reflects on how Webb’s life is a metaphor for all of our lives; we all have potential but we don’t always pursue it.
Throughout “Ex-Basketball Player,” Updike emphasizes his former abandoned love for basketball. The poem’s tone changes from a narrative to a recitation of facts and occurrences in his life. It then becomes an emotional statement that nothing was achieved as a brilliant high school basketball player appears before shifting back to a more factual tone.
Ex-basketball player is about the speaker’s nostalgia for his glory days as a high school athlete. The poem is also about how the speaker’s life has changed since then. The speaker reflects on how his life could have been different if he had dedicated himself to basketball and made it to the NBA.
The poem starts with the speaker describing his hometown and how everyone there knows him. He then talks about how he was once a star basketball player in high school. The speaker reflects on how his life could have been different if he had dedicated himself to basketball and made it to the NBA. However, he did not make it to the NBA and his life has changed since then. He is now an ex-basketball player who works at a gas station. The speaker reflects on his life and how things could have been different if he had made it to the NBA.
The poem ends with the speaker saying how he sometimes wishes he could go back to those days when he was a star basketball player. However, he knows that those days are gone and he will never be able to go back to them.
In the first stanza, Updike simply gives the facts about Flick Webb’s life that are taking place on one street. He was once a top high school athlete who now works at Berth’s Garage, which is less than two blocks away. His most important events occurred in less than two blocks, including his title as Midget Football World Champion and winning six gold medals at five different Olympics (individually).
In the second stanza, however, the poem’s tone changes. Updike begins to use language that suggests Webb’s life is not as great as it once was. He describes Webb as a “has-been” and talks about how his skills have “faded.” The imagery in this stanza is bleak; Updike writes about how Webb’s “hands have thickened” and how he has developed a “belly.” This stanza makes it clear that Webb is no longer the star athlete he once was. In the third stanza, Updike turns his focus to Webb’s character.
He writes about how Webb is always making jokes and how he is always smiling. Even though his life may not be as great as it once was, Webb still has a good attitude. Updike describes him as a “jester” and a “clown.” The fourth stanza is where Updike really begins to explore the idea of character. He writes about how Webb’s character is what makes him special, not his athletic ability.
Updike describes Webb as someone who is “likable” and “easygoing.” He talks about how Webb is always willing to help other people. Even though he is no longer a top athlete, Webb still has a good heart. In the final stanza, Updike brings everything together. He compares Webb’s life to a game of basketball.
Just like in basketball, there are highs and lows in life. Webb has had his share of both. However, Updike argues that it is Webb’s character that will ultimately help him succeed in life. No matter what trials and tribulations he may face, Webb will always be able to bounce back because of his positive attitude.