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.
Point of View of John Updike’s “A&P” In the short story A&P written by John Updike is written in the 1st person naïve point of view. A&P is considered 1st person naïve because the narrator is too young to be trusted. He also is telling us the story as he feels to be the truth. The main character of this story is Sammy and the author Updike chooses 1st person to Naïve because he wants to show the readers what Sammy is thinking from his point of view aka his emotions and reactions to certain situations.
In “A&P” by John Updike, the choice of Sammy as narrator in first person point of view helps communicate the message that he approves of the daring decision the girls made to go out in public wearing nothing, but their bathing suits. Therefore from the moment the girls step into the store, they capture Sammy’s attention, and he focuses on how they act. The girls draw Sammy’s attention because they are not phased by the reactions they are causing the other customers in A&P to have. While the girls are shopping Sammy tells us, “I watched them all the way… 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.
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).
John Updike’s story “A&P” is a literary masterpiece that reveals the expectations of a man at the prime of his youth and an old manager in a society that is seemingly so strict on social ideals. Told from the first person point of view, the story is a strong way to show what the character Sammy learns in the shop as he develops his personality traits through the buyers and the manager. Written in the present simple tense, the story proves to be more appropriate for oral presentation. The purpose of this essay is to present a critical analysis of the personality traits of the character Sammy. In order to present the character traits analysis, the essay contends that a person is described through what they say, do, and think, what others think or say about them, or how the author describes them.
Youth is the most important time period a person goes through. It is the age that you live and learn. In the story “A and P” by John Updike, Sammy shows many signs of an adolescent. It is believable that Sammy is a part of the youth age by the control of his thoughts, focus, and dedication. In this story Sammy makes many mistakes that people learn from in their teenage years.
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.
In John Updike's “A&P” we see first hand the fragility of destiny, through a single particular moment in Sammy's life. Deciding to abandon the pale and bland pre-destined life of being a “sheep”(as often referred to by Sammy) Sammy dooms himself to a life of uncertainty and struggle. Updike beautifully illustrates to us first hand how a single split-second decision can forever change our lives, regardless of the reasons we had for making our decision.
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.
Discuss one of the following regarding John Updike's "A&P": Characterization, Setting, Theme. Sammy is the narrator of this story. He is an opinionated teenager who describes people shopping at the store as “sheep”. He believes everyone acts the same.
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.”