A & P By John Updike Analysis

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At first read, I thought this story was about the young cashier Sammy and his job at a small beach-town grocery store, or even how Sammy is smitten with some bikini-clad girls who come in the store. But reading deeper into John Updike's "A&P" and getting to the meat of the story, it is obvious it is about so much more. This is clearly a story about standing up to what you believe is wrong, and doing what is right, even if there are implications for your actions. As I was reading this story, I was taken in by the detailed descriptions Updike used when referring to the store and the people inside. It seemed to me Updike made a point of describing the store and people so the reader could actually picture the local grocery store and the stuffy customers it caters to. “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle” (2) as Updike referred to them, are the people in the small town who adhere to every expectation put on them by society. …show more content…

That's when Sammy decides to make a stand; He knows there will be issues with his parents due to him losing his job, but he doesn't care. Sammy suddenly gets a strong sense of what is right and wrong and he decides to follow it, no matter the consequences. At the end, when Sammy unties his apron and walks out of the A&P, I could actually feel the tension in the air being released. "I pull the bow on the back of my apron and start shrugging it off my shoulders" (6). It's like Sammy is suddenly freed of the manager telling him what is right and wrong. Sammy walks out of the A&P with his head held high because he knows he is doing what was right and nobody can tell him otherwise. He stands up against the manager looking down on the girls simply because they weren’t dressed in what the grocery chain deemed decent. It is apparent this story is about society putting expectations on its members every

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