Decision Making And Consumerism In John Updike's A & P

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Albert Einstein once said, “I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking,” Einstein meant he did not make discoveries by thinking situations through, but by trial and error where his failures made him realize his wants. James Joyce’s short story “Araby” is about a young un-named boy infatuated by the thought of his friend Mangan’s sister. His obsession drives him to attend a bazaar late at night to buy a present for Mangan’s sister could who could not attend.“Araby” is retold in “A&P”, a novel by John Updike’s about Sammy, a 19-year old cashier fascinated by girls in bathing suits. Despite the obvious teenaged boy’s attraction to girls, “A&P” has a deeper meaning of rushed decision making and consumerism. Sammy…show more content…
Sammy, a 19 year old cashier is attracted to a young customer in a bathing suit who was being told by Sammy’s boss that her clothes were not appropriate. Sammy fears his nearing transition into adulthood and uses the situation presented to him to quit his job. The unnamed boy is alike Sammy attracted to a young girl, in this case his friend Mangan’s sister. Both Sammy and the unnamed boy go out of their way to please these girls, but Sammy ends up with no job and no attention from the girl and the boy at a bazaar late at night realizing all everyone cares about is money. Sammy notices how consumerism is dominating the people around him and no one interacts with each other unless it is to purchase name brand items that raise the status. The unnamed boy is disappointed when the girl at the bazaar is talking with two young men and pays no attention to him unless he wants to buy something. Alike Albert Einstein, the boys had to realize their failures through trial and error. Sammy and the unnamed boy have significantly similar lives and situations as they rush into decisions and live in a world dominated by
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