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Determination To Escape The Norms In John Updike's A & P

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Conventional Role: A Determination to Escape the Norms in John Updike’s “A&P” Capitalism and consumerism become a huge phenomenon in American society during 1950s. Economy in the United States increase rapidly after the World War II which causing a large expansion of the middle class. During 1950s, the middle class has an increase in purchasing power and the need for more and better goods emerged rapidly. People tend to buy big houses in the new suburbs and buy new time-saving household appliances to achieve a perceived better life. Idea of conformity change become a norm in the middle class society in late 1950s. People tend to keep the conventional role and stay in their comfort zone. John Updike’s “A&P” did a great job of illustrating the…show more content…
He wants to get out of conventional role of his society as he imagines his future based on the life of this co-workers and the customers. Sammy expresses his dislike of his job by describing the customers as “witch” and “sheep” which more likely to shows his intention to quit the job. Toni Saldivar claims Sammy act of quitting as “gain him nothing and cost him everything” as Sammy lose his job and the girl disappeared from the parking lot by the time he exits the store. But, some evidence from the text show a contradiction. He makes a statement which “the door heaves itself open, and outside the sunshine is skating around the asphalt” (133) as he steps out from the store after he quit his job change the perspective on how he sees the world as he quits. By describing the sun as “sunshine,” he is expressing his sense of happiness from his decision. “The door heaves open itself” is a sign of a new bright future that open up to himself as he quit his job. He also makes statement of “here comes the sad part of the story, at least my family say it’s sad but I don’t think it’s sad myself” (131) before he tells the story of him quitting his job shows that he had no regret for his action. If his intention is to flirt Queenie, he should have been regretting his decision since the girls just left after the incident and he lose his job, but he is not. These evidence disputes the claims made by Saldivar and clearly shows that Sammy is not making a reckless decision by quitting his
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