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Should Wizard Hit Mommy Summary in English by John Updike

Should Wizard Hit Mommy by John Updike About the Author

John Hoyer Updike (18 March 1932 – 27 January 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer and art and literary critic. His most famous work is his ‘Rabbit Series’. His fiction is focused on the concerns, passions and sufferings of the average American.

He is considered as one of the greatest American writers of his time. Updike had a style which is rich and unusual and sometimes arcane vocabulary is conveyed through the eyes of “a wry intelligent authorial voice”. He described the physical world in a realist tradition.

Author Name John Updike
Born 18 March 1932, Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died 27 January 2009, Danvers, Massachusetts, United States
Children Elizabeth Updike Cobblah, Miranda Margaret Updike
Awards National Book Award for Fiction, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Nationality ‎American
Should Wizard Hit Mommy Summary by John Updike
Should Wizard Hit Mommy Summary by John Updike

Should Wizard Hit Mommy Introduction to the Chapter

This story deals with a child’s view of the world and the difficult moral questions she raises during f the story session with her father. Jack (Joanne’s father) had become accustomed to, or putting it J more precisely, obligated to telling stories out of his head to his daughter Joanne during the evenings and Saturday afternoons! This tradition itself was now two years old and Joanne had been two when it started.

These stories were almost the same except for some slight variations. It started with a creature usually named Roger (Roger fish, Roger squirrel, Roger chipmunk), who had some problem and went with it to the wise owl. The owl directed him to go to the wizard, who would solve his problem i in exchange for a few pennies more than the creature had and in the same breath would direct the f creature to go to a place where he could find it. Then, the Roger creature would be happy and would l return home just in time to hear the train whistle that brought his daddy home from Boston.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy Theme

The main theme of this story is the relation of children with their parents. Children’s fantasies and the messages of stories they bring with them affect children and sometimes, make them critical.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy Summary in English

The story, “Should Wizard Hit Mommy?” written by John Updike, revolves around the conflicting views of a child and a parent on the child’s future. Parents express their own expectations. They desire that their children should grow up as per their expectations. However, children have their own ambitions and aspirations.

Jack used to tell his little daughter Jo bedtime stories. When she grew a little older, she began to ask a number of questions. For some time, Jack was not able to invent new stories. Thus, the basic story was the same but its hero changed. The hero, a small animal known as Roger meets an owl with its problem. The owl directs Roger to the wizard. The wizard solved the problem with his magic wand. Roger felt good. He played along with animals of the woodland. But when his father used to come back, he went back home to eat supper with him. Jo feels happy with this ending.

Later, her father told the story of a little animal called Roger Skunk. Just like other heroes of his stories, even Skunk has a problem. He used to smell awfully bad. The wizard made him smell like roses, and little animals liked him and played with him. Jo was again happy. However, Skunk’s mother wanted Skunk to get back his original smell. She took him back to the wizard. The wizard again made Skunk smell as awful as ever. Skunk’s mother was happy. However, Jo was not happy. She desired that the wizard should hit the stupid mother. However, Jack defended the mother’s action.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy Main Characters in the Chapter


He is the protagonist of the story. He is a married man. His wife, Clare is pregnant and they have a four-year-old daughter, Jo and a two-year-old son, Bobby.


She is Jack and Clare’s four-year-old daughter. She is a growing girl. As she is growing, she has begun to contradict things.

Roger Skunk

Roger Skunk is the protagonist of the story that Jack narrates to Jo. He is bullied for his foul Skunk smell. He wants nothing more than to play with the other animals.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Why did Roger Skunk go in search of the wizard?
Why did Roger Skunk go to the wizard?
Roger Skunk had no friends to play with, since he smelled very bad. Everybody made fun of him. This upset him. He went to the owl to ask for help, who directed him to the wizard.

Question 2.
How did the Skunk’s mother get Roger Skunk’s old smell back?
Roger Skunk’s mother went to the wizard and hit him on his head and asked him to give back Roger Skunk’s smell. The wizard obliged and gave the baby skunk’s smell back.

Question 3.
What help did Roger Skunk get from the wizard?
The wizard helped Roger Skunk by casting a spell on him, which made him smell like roses. This helped Roger Skunk get friends to play with and made him happy.

Question 4.
Why did Jo disapprove of Jack’s ending of the story of Roger Skunk? How did she want it to end?
In Jack’s story, the protagonist, Roger Skunk, is shown as an obedient child. He meekly goes with his mother to get his previous smell back. This was against his wishes and he would have rather wished the smell of roses, since it would have enabled him to have friends to play with. Jo is a child and from a child’s perspective, playing with friends is very important. Therefore, she wanted it to end it with Roger Skunk smelling like roses and being able to play with his friends. She also wanted the wizard to hit the mother.

Question 5.
What impression do you form of Jack as a father in the story, ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
Jack is portrayed as a loving father, who loves telling stories to his four-year-old daughter, Jo. He brings in the dramatic element in his otherwise lame and boring story by using a lot of gestures and dramatic voices. This thrills his daughter, which eventually thrills him. Everything is fine till one day his daughter starts questioning his stories. She views each statement that her father makes with a critical eye and has a lot of questions. Instead of pacifying her by answering her questions, Jack tried to enforce his views on her. Therefore, we can say that Jack is loving and responsible but slightly an immature father.

Question 6.
Why did Jo think Roger Skunk was better off with the new smell?
Jo thought about Roger Skunk and his wish to smell better in order to play with his friends from a child’s perspective. For her, it was important that wishes are fulfilled, and a wish of being able to play was foremost.

Question 7.
Why was Roger Skunk’s mummy angry with him? What did she finally tell him?
Roger Skunk’s mother was angry with him since he no longer smelled the way all skunks smelled. Though the other animals felt it to be a stink, for her it was an identity. Finally, she asked Roger Skunk to go along with her to the wizard to revoke the spell.

Question 8.
How did Roger Skunk pay the wizard?
Roger Skunk only had four shillings to pay the wizard. The wizard wanted seven shillings. On seeing Roger Skunk’s sad face, the wizard takes pity on him and directs him for the remaining three shillings. Roger Skunk goes in search of them and eventually pays the wizard the money.

Question 9.
What did Jo want Roger Skunk’s mother to be punished for?
Jo believed that the mother was insensitive, cruel and unfair. Roger Skunk’s mother didn’t let him retain the smell of roses which he had got from the wizard. It would have helped him make friends.

Question 10.
Which do you think is a better ending of Roger Skunk’s story, Jo’s or her father’s? Why?
A better ending of Roger Skunk’s story would have been Jo’s—for Roger Skunk to smell like roses forever. The mother need not have interfered in the matter. Roger Skunk would have, over a period of time, understood himself whether it was right or wrong. I believe that Jo’s idea of the wizard hitting the mother is wrong, just like it was wrong on the part of the mother to hit the wizard.