Individualism In John Updike's A & P

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In his short story "A&P" writer John Updike makes a relatable story for those of this day and age, that viably manages the theme of individualism through his depiction of the young girls and the seemingly underrated hero, Sammy. This story takes place at a more conservative time in our nation (1961), when we were on the brink of a liberation for women. Some of the descriptive words are a bit more, shall I say, colorful than others. The author does end up redeeming himself at the end and the story does not finish as I had thought it would from the first few lines. Updike portrays the girls, while rather judgmentally, as youthful, pronounced young women who don't necessarily conform to the classic standards of a town stuck in the more distant past. The comment from 'Queenie' " We are decent" shows that they are proud to be who they are. That they don't need their "shoulders covered " to be treated like a member of society. That because they fall out of the norm…show more content…
These girls could have possibly paved the way for the women of today. The women who speak their minds, the women who don’t conform to what society thinks is acceptable. This story could have been an entire turning point that we missed somewhere along the road. It is a shame that the people of today are able to speak as to who they are but not always able to speak for those who cannot or those who do and are not heard. It’s a breath of fresh air, 56-year-old freshness if you’d believe it, to know that Sammy took a stand against something that was bigger than he. Some might portray him to be a sexist, but in my eyes he is just a teenage boy who learned something wonderful about himself that day, something that blindsided him; the fact that just one person has enough power to make a difference to someone or something, maybe even the
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