Characterization In John Updike's A & P

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In the short story, “A&P”, by John Updike, the central idea is that you are always being judged even when you think you aren’t. The author’s use of characterization helps reveal the central idea through the three girls. The three girls physical appearance were constantly being judged by society. Through Lengel’s actions and one of the girls be referred to as Queenie, the reader becomes aware of how judgmental society is toward females. In fact, Lengel goes on to say, “we want to decently dress when you come in here” (3). Lengel does not appreciate how the girls are dressed because he deems it both inappropriate and unacceptable. These girls are characterized as tourists who were enjoying their time at the beach, located 5 miles away from A&P.

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