He has just been fired from his job. On the drive home, he talks to himself and blasts the radio because he cannot bear silence. A Pontiac pulls up next to him at a red light and the teenage driver makes fun of Ace for singing along to the radio. When he arrives, he announces that he has been fired.
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He has just been fired from his job. On the drive home, he talks to himself and blasts the radio because he cannot bear silence. A Pontiac pulls up next to him at a red light and the teenage driver makes fun of Ace for singing along to the radio. When he arrives, he announces that he has been fired. However, she speculates that his wife Evey will be furious at him. Although he tries to change the subject, she continues to work jibes about her daughter-in-law into the conversation.
Since his mother lives only half a block from his apartment, Ace leaves his car and jogs home with Bonnie in his arms. He thinks about advice from his old coach - "Never ride when you can walk. He worries about how Evey will react to the news of his firing, and regrets yelling at the teenager in the Pontiac. Ace looks at the morning paper and finds his name. A points record he set as a basketball star five years ago in high school is in jeopardy of being bested by a current student.
Ace angrily tosses the paper aside. He remembers that he also felt depresed in high school, but playing basketball and hanging around in the locker room made him feel better. When Evey gets home from work, she is in a sarcastic mood, teasing Ace and making fun of his mother. She found out from his mother that he has been fired, and does not seem upset with him.
Ace explains to her why he lost his job. The space was too small for the car, and Ace accidentally grazed another car when he tried to park it. Evey suddenly becomes vindictive, asking Ace what he plans to do now, and mocks his fantasies of becoming a professional basketball player. As her parents fight, Bonnie vies for their attention by putting an ashtray on her head. Ace comments that she has sure hands and would make a great athlete if she were a boy.
He asks Evey to stay with him so they can have a male child. He asks her to have a cocktail and dance. He forcefully seizes her and begins to dance. Although Evey is tense and uncomfortable, he feels better, remembering his fun times in the locker room in high school. These meanings are an ironic play on the origin of the phrase "ace in the hole.
Ace himself has no trump card and all of his plans or grand ideas are dismissed as fantasy by his wife. This is indicative of his general resentment for other people, particularly men. Ace feels as if he is in a tight space in his life. Ace takes devious pleasure in this event, likely what he views as retribution for being called "Dad" - an illusion to his faded glory and youth.
Ace does feel bad for using a racial slur against the kid, signaling he is not totally hateful. Ace is immature and consumed with victory going hand in hand with loss. It even gained some paint. He is not taking responsibility in his life. Little Bonnie is allowed to play with an ashtray, finally wearing it on her head.
Ace regrets that Bonnie was not a boy because he believes girls cannot and should not play sports. Much of this is innocuous and was simply part of the culture in s America. Bonnie grounds the story in reality and adds a level of gravity to the story that would be missing if her parents were childless.
Evey and Ace seem very much like kids themselves, especially as Ace gets fixated on his boyhood basketball record being shattered. Rabbit is 26, a former basketball star also making a difficult transition into adulthood.
Ace in the Hole: A Selection from the John Updike Audio Collection
Recommended Reading Happy Bloomsday! Get ready for Summerfest. Books by John Updike. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Attendance tallies at Summerfest, other events was a guessing game Maier set out to make Milwaukee the parade city of the Midwest — in Baby, we got to have a boy.
JOHN UPDIKE ACE IN THE HOLE PDF
Ace in the Hole