Characterism And Criticism In John Updike's 'A + P'

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Every character in works of literature are subjected to criticism and critique by its readers. In the short story, “A+P”, the protagonist, Sammy has been subjected to criticism for his actions of quitting his job, a reaction of seeing young ladies be disrespected in his workplace for wearing bathing suits. Many readers depict Sammy as immature and ignorant for quitting his job. However, the author, John Updike contradicts this assumption, portraying Sammy as a nineteen year old, who demonstrates strong morals, ambition, defiance, and a promising future, characterizing him not as an insolent teen but a developing young man. Sammy displays his maturity through his strong morals by refusing to work in a profession where customers are degraded. Sammy, a cashier at A+P, is like a sheep. He is at the lowest level of employment as an obedient and docile employee. However, Sammy is horrified when Lengel, his manager, makes a rude comment towards three young ladies dressed in bathing suits. Sammy is troubled by the manner in which Lengle spoke to those girls. Rather than cowering and returning to his job, Sammy held his ground, remarking that Lengle’s statements were uncalled for. Due to his outrage towards Lengel’s wrongdoings, Sammy quits his job. In reaction to Sammy quitting, Lengel remarks that his resignation will have negative effects to Sammy’s parents and his future, since their friendship with Lengel got Sammy the job. Sammy recounts Lengel’s coercion to keep
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