Female Objectification In John Updike's A & P

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“A&P” by John Updike is a short story expressing the issues of female objectification and degradation in society by following a young A&P employee’s views (Sammy) as they change through experiences second hand. Sammy goes from stereotyping objectifier to a form of a public defender, standing up for girls who can’t really do so for themselves. Sammy initially characterizes and describes all of the people in the store based on their looks and his initial opinion of them, rather than waiting to make judgements based on their personality, or not at all. He is very critical of looks, and is judgmental about why and how they look or act the way they do. Sammy does not think about how his opinions of people can be rude and potentially hurt their…show more content…
As made apparent by Sammy’s first thought outside, “I look around for my girls, but they’re gone of course” (pg. #7), Sammy initially quit his job in the moment to gain praise from the girls and hopefully to have them swooning over him, but all along he knew the chances of gaining praise from them was slim. Although Sammy was hoping the girls would be waiting for him after he quit his job to stand up for them, he wasn’t really surprised by their absence; He expected it. As Sammy stated “I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter,” (pg.#7) without a job and without any form of reward for his somewhat heroic act, Sammy finally realized the challenges women in society face. Overall, A&P by John Updike is a short story raising awareness for women’s rights as well as proving that you shouldn’t judge someone based on their appearances. Through rough characterization, stereotyping, and moral dilemmas, Updike exemplifies how one person can have a big affect on another, even in a short amount of time, with very little physical
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