John Updike Attitude

887 Words4 Pages
The overall attitude of a person is not always noticeable upon first glance. The way in which the individual acts, thinks, or perceives a particular situation is only truly shown through his/her point of view. In the short story, “A&P,” John Updike portrays a particular situation to characterize the attitude of the young narrator. With attention to details, diction, and point of view, Updike amplifies the observant and opinionated attitude of a teenager named Sammy. Throughout the short story, one realizes that Sammy has a keen observational nature. Every aspect around him does not go unnoticed. Once the three girls appear in the store, he immediately acknowledges their presence because of the imbalance they create in the store, while continuing…show more content…
In the entire story, the reader is aware of Sammy’s youth based on his language. He often begins a thought with “You know” (1283), which is considered an unsophisticated term. His description of the girls as “so cute” (1284) and “pretty girl” (1286) further proves his simple, youthful language. Sammy’s application of colloquial language demonstrates the thoughts of a typical teenager. However, he exhibits a sense of sophistication through his detailed and observant ways. The diction holds a contrast between Sammy’s immature teenage mind and his intelligent opinionated views towards the concept of conformity. Though Sammy’s diction may be initially viewed as juvenile, his expressive behavior proves otherwise. Altogether, Sammy’s observant and opinionated nature leads readers into a deeper meaning. His descriptive manner and decision to speak against authority exposes the intellectual perspective of his personality. Though his continuous attraction towards the group of girls seems immature, his adherent attention to detail also demonstrates sophistication. Updike’s title A&P focuses on the ordinary setting of a grocery store, yet the events that take place within the store resemble the ideals of an abnormal cause—nonconformity. Overall, Sammy’s attitude gives insight into a larger theme than the surface
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