The story that I wanted to go into greater depth would be the story of A & P by John Updike. I wanted to convince people that the character Sammy is actually more aware of things then most would give him that he is sort of a rebel, a character that is trying to be different. First off Sammy is a 19-year-old kid that was working at the checkout line at an A & P in a town somewhere in the New England area. First off you have to understand that Sammy is not a typical 19 years old, he is more aware of his surroundings then most would see. An example of his is when the girls come into the store for the first time he identifies them to such a high degree.
In all good stories, there is a theme the author tries to convey. In John Updike’s short story, “A&P”, the author conveys the struggle of power through the significant use of the plot, setting and characters. The narrator, Sammy, begins the story when he notices three girls walk into the grocery store of a small town. The setting already poses a set for a struggle of power. At this point in the story, Sammy describes himself as above the “sheep” -- that is people shopping at the grocery store and even some of his co workers such as Stokesie or McMahon.
Social status is defined as a person's standing or importance in relation to other people within a society. Social status has affected the world for hundreds of years, from where you were allowed to go to the bathroom, to if you were allowed to vote. The way a person is viewed and treated is all caused by what is believed to be their rank in society and in the short story, “A&P”, John Updike uses irony, symbolism, and characterization to show this. Sometimes people dissatisfied with their opportunities get caught up with what others represent, causing rash decisions that lead to disappointment.
In the short story "A & P", John Updike explains how Sammy is a young man working as a cashier. One day three young ladies come into the supermarket half-dressed wearing only their swimsuits. Sammy is intrigued by these young women, along with everyone else in the supermarket. Sammy watches their every move, as the girls made their selections. Sammy tries to play the hero at the end of the story; however, he may have been his own worst enemy.
One of the seven deadly sins is the act of having too much pride. Pride in general is not an evil feeling to have. It is human to have pride in oneself, but having too much pride is unhealthy and will cause problems somewhere along the way. Two characters who show a harmful amount of pride are Sylvia from Toni Bambara’s “The Lesson” and Sammy John Updike’s “A&P”. A famous quotation states “Pride (arrogance) comes before Destruction... and a haughty spirit, before a fall.”
The Impact of Setting in John Updike’s “A&P” “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle--the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything)--were pretty hilarious” (Updike 651). As an average cashier at a plain A&P store in the middle of town, the protagonist Sammy is unaccustomed to customers in provocative attire. Queenie and her two friends (one chunky, one tall) are outcast in a setting of tremendous social conformity, and quickly catch Sammy’s watchful eye with their unexpected bikinis. Unabashed in teenage ignorance, these three girls continue to shop for herring snacks, unaware that consequence is at their doorstep.
As people make their way through life, they often find themselves at a moment where they must make a choice between what is familiar and the possibility of something greater. In the short story “A & P,” written by John Updike, while working as a cashier at an A & P grocery store, a nineteen year old boy named Sammy finds himself at the moment where he must choose whether to stay or depart. It is only when Sammy is unexpectedly forced to contemplate his current predicament, does he decides to make his first life altering decision. Sammy looks to his coworkers, Stokesie, McMahon, and Lengal, and the possible futures they represent, and ultimately decides to relinquish his job to aim for a more prosperous future modeled by Queenie. Stokesie,
The mythological “A&P” by John Updike Thesis: Updike uses a number of different aspects such as setting, imagery, etc. to project the mythology in the story and Sammy’s choices and consequences that come along with it. • Saldivar, Toni. " The Art of John Updike's 'A&P.'" Studies in Short Fiction 34.2 (1997): 215-25. Saldivar’s opinion on John Updike’s A&P is that the young girls are “mythological temptresses” whom lure away young men to destruction.
Lessons Learned Hard: Sammy In John Updike’s “A&P” In his short story “A&P,” John Updike dives into the thoughts and actions of what he pictures as the “young boy entering adulthood”. On one side of the coin that makes up “A&P” is a young man’s heroic attempt to bring about his own freedom from the policies and rules that bind him.
Every day we pass by men, women, boys, and girls of all different ages. We expect the adults to act mature like normal adults, and the kids to act like children. In the beginning of John Updike’s story “A&P”, the setting is in a store with an older woman watching to make sure that the cashier makes no mistakes with her order. However, when the cashier does mess up, the lady gets upset and warns the cashier of his mistake. After the woman leaves, the cashier goes back to looking at the girls, while other customers are now also starting to notice the girls.
1. Based on the dialogue Sammy uses, one can suspect he does not take himself too seriously. He speaks from a first person point of view which portrays him as a quiet observer. Sammy also seems to be slightly shallow because when he is referring to the girls in bathings suits inside the store he notes, the girl that initially caught his attention was the “chunky” girl in plaid. In addition to his shallowness, Sammy uses harsh words such as “the fat one with the tan sort of fumbled the cookies.”
A major theme in A&P is personal freedom. Throughout the story Updike uses metaphor for all elements in the story to implies the theme. At the beginning of the story, Sammy uses sarcastic tone to describe the customers as “sheep” and “houseslaves” which implies he is different from them in mindset. The way how Sammy talks about others shows his intellectual mind. He is not same as Stokesie who wants to be a manager one day.