John Updike A & P Conflict

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Caring - about people, about things, about life - is an act of maturity. Sammy, the narrator in the first story narrative “A&P,” demonstrates the development of his maturity through the actions he displays by standing up for the girls who were humiliated by a grocery store manager. Updike’s short story, demonstrates how youth display rebellion and immaturity due to their everyday struggles. While some people may seem to take a more mature approach in their development process, everyone matures in a different way. People want to be unique and accepted in their own way which explains Sammy’s actions. Updike uses Sammy’s point of view as a literacy tool by using Sammy’s perspective to give freedom to his audience allowing them to relate on …show more content…

This technique allows freedom to his audience to make their own interpretation of the dialogue in “A & P.” Sammy’s conscience was conflicted with the situation he was in. He established internally that what Lengel did was wrong and that he should have not humiliated them publically as he did, rather he should have taken them aside and explained the situation. Sammy did not hesitate on his instinct and consequently used this reasoning as justification for his actions as he quit with the little “time [he had to] [think] (Updike 343).” He was trying to act in the best way he knew possible using his better judgment in this difficult situation. Yet he is still growing up and may have acted in this way seeking attention from the girls “hoping” to be “their unsuspected hero” (434). Still, he was uneasy about the entirety of the events that just occurred realizing “how hard the world was going to be” for him after this point (Updike 335). The perspective of the narrator allows the reader to understand the struggles Sammy is facing trying to decide if he made the right choice. He is not just thinking of the present moment, but if he will be financially stable for the future without his job. Ultimately, Sammy showed maturity in doing what he thought was right in this situation by quitting his job in order to stand up for the girls who were only …show more content…

Earlier in the story, Sammy’s action may be perceived as rebellious. However, from a different perspective, Sammy’s decision in using his moral compass could be interpreted as incredibly mature. For example, he showed a substantial amount of development in his character by looking at the situation from the girls’ perspective. Sammy takes into consideration the families which the girls were most likely brought up resulting in their senseless behavior. The parents and friends in fancy clothes and “bow ties” eating off a “big glass plate” and drinking from glasses “with olives and sprig mint in them (Updike 433).” He considered that they probably did not know any better and were taught very little of the importance of self-respect. The lack of authority or possibly quite the opposite, extreme parental supervision in these girls’ life, was clearly evident in their mannerisms and behavior causing them to rebel by wearing the bikinis in a grocery store. His inner thoughts regarding the situation truly continue to display his

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