Conflict In John Updike's A & P

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Humans in general, often times desire something that they don’t possess. For instance, in the short story “A&P”, the protagonist, Sammy, works at the A&P and notices three girls walking into the store with nothing but bikinis. Over the course of the story, Sammy observes the “main” girl, Queenie, and her friends and eventually, quits his job when the manager tells the girls to follow store policy for wearing bikini-clad clothing. In the end, Sammy is left jobless and empty handed with the girl, Queenie, and is then pondering about the future. Overall, Sammy’s desire for Queenie and him advocating for her due to her clothing led him to be somewhat of a hero. The story takes place on a hot, summer day at a grocery store called the “A&P”. The protagonist is a nineteen year old male cashier by the name of Sammy. The central conflict occurs when Sammy watches three girls in bathing suits enter into the store to buy some herring snacks. Sammy gleefully watches them and gets attracted to the middle girl, “Queenie”, eventually being infatuated for her. The girls come to his counter in order to check out, but the manager, Lengel, steps forth and tells the girls to “come in…show more content…
Sammy’s failed attempt goes unnoticed, and Lengel offers to give Sammy another chance. Sammy however, thought that taking it would be a “fatal not to go through with it.”(Updike.19). Sammy exits the store, being jobless and failing his goal of wooing Queenie. Nonetheless, Sammy’s act of standing up for Queenie because of her attire is what makes him a hero. He felt sympathetic towards her after getting embarrassed by Lengel, and he went after her, despite wanting her for her body. Although in the end, when Sammy fails his goal, he is changed by the events that happened to him, and he is hopeful for the
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