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After High School

Have you ever stopped to wonder about what happened to that big star in high school? What did they do after high school? A limited few of those stars actually make it to the big leagues. Most of them remain behind wondering what might have been. In John Updike’s poem “An Ex-Basketball Player,” a former high school basketball’s star’s life is illustrated through the eyes of one of his enthusiasts. The first stanza of “An Ex-Basketball Player” permits the reader to see where Flick is after high school. “Before it has a chance to go two blocks” Flick has stayed so close he is not even two blocks away from the memories of his glory days. He is also so unaccomplished that he still “helps Berth out.” He is not even the owner of the garage he just works there. He is in a dead end job with no future to speak of which defiantly not the life he expected when he started out being such a legend. The third stanza discuses what a remarkable basketball player he was. “He bucketed three hundred ninety points” this was an accomplish that made people in extreme awe of him. People all over the county are still probably in astonishment of his accomplishment for still holding the county record. Although I doubt those younger people know that it is just Flick, who pumps their gas and not some now professional athlete. The speaker himself is still amazed by his talent “his hands were like wild birds.” This demonstrates how much talent he showed at such a young age and how much everyone around him acknowledged it. The last two stanzas deal with what this celebrity has become and how far he has fallen from being someone so admired. “As a gag, he dribbles an inner tub” this allows the reader to know that he still has some of his talent left. It also shows that Flick wants people to remember him as the star he once was. It also seems to be an escape from his mundane duties of changing oil, tires, and anything else that nee...

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After High School. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:18, August 23, 2014, from