In “Marching Through a Novel,” by John Updike, Updike conveys a complex relationship between novelist and characters, portraying the author as a god-like figure whose characters are left to his whims and wishes. Updike accomplishes this characterization through his diction, imagery and use of metaphor.
Updike conveys this relationship with vivid imagery throughout the poem. His diction, such as “Misty faces,” “unraveling bandages,” “trench warfare,” and “a harsh taskmaster” all create ominous imagery for the reader; the poem also seems to have a dark mood or create a kind of helplessness. The poem seems like the author wants to help his characters described in the poem, but he is unable to for some reason.
Updike uses several metaphors
For instance, when Sammy quits his job he says he feels like he is “A couple of customers that had been heading for my slot begin to knock against each other, like scared pigs in a chute.” (2). Updike's use of metaphor in the quote serves to highlight the theme of Sammy's powerlessness and lack of control. By comparing his customers to scared pigs, he conveys how they are helplessly herded through the aisles of the store, just like Sammy feels he is being herded through life. This metaphor symbolizes how Sammy has no choice but to follow society's expectations, even if it means sacrificing his happiness.
Updike also uses symbols to further the idea of individualism. For instance, Sammy applauds the girls in ”nothing but bathing suits”, which represent self-expression and a clear disregard for the small-town social norms. The girls themselves even personify individuality in Sammy’s mind with the way they “[walk] against the usual traffic”, both literally and figuratively. When Sammy quits his job, he sheds his uniform, a symbol of corporate conformity. The apron has “‘Sammy’ stitched in red on the pocket”, but this tiny bit of personalization is nowhere near enough for Sammy, because at the end of the day, it all belongs to the establishment, even “the bow tie is theirs”.
’Is it done?’ he asks, the responsible married man finding his voice. I forgot to say he thinks he’s going to be manager some sunny day, maybe in 1990 when it’s called the Great Alexandrov and Petrooshki Tea Company or something.” (Updike, 2) This passage puzzled me for several reasons.
Humans in general, often times desire something that they don’t possess. For instance, in the short story “A&P”, the protagonist, Sammy, works at the A&P and notices three girls walking into the store with nothing but bikinis. Over the course of the story, Sammy observes the “main” girl, Queenie, and her friends and eventually, quits his job when the manager tells the girls to follow store policy for wearing bikini-clad clothing. In the end, Sammy is left jobless and empty handed with the girl, Queenie, and is then pondering about the future. Overall, Sammy’s desire for Queenie and him advocating for her due to her clothing led him to be somewhat of a hero.
In conclusion the story A and P by John Updike uses figurative language such as imagery similes and metaphors to convey the two central themes Consequences of choice and Individualism. The major thing to take away from A and P is that don't take dumb risk without weighing the consequences. John Updike successfully shows the reader the real world lessons that Sammy has learned throughout the story of A and P using figurative language.
There is a sentimental value that is attached to every families’ collection of heirlooms and keepsakes. No matter how long these items remain in storage or are hidden away; their representation always stays the same, they keep people connected to their family roots. Author John Updike’s short story, “The Brown Chest” uses symbolism and imagery and sensory writing to focus on the idea that family memories never fade away and material things can maintain a deeper meaning no matter what they endure. John Updike appeals to the reader’s senses to allow them to connect with what is occurring in the story on a more profound level. He begins the story by writing from the main character’s childhood perspective.
In “A & P”, by John Updike, the protagonist, Sammy, is a nineteen year old cashier working at the A & P. The manager of the store, Lengel, is a long time friend of Sammy’s parents. When 3 girls walk into the A & P wearing only bathing suits, Lengel tells them they are not “decently dressed” and asks them to leave. This begins a short conflict in which the girls say they are dressed appropriately, while Lengel insists they are not and must leave. Sammy, although he originally belittled the girls, begins to pity them and quits his job to impress the girls. However, the girls leave without noticing Sammy, and quitting leaves him in a difficult position in life.
The Alligators is a short story written by John Updike that explores the world of Charlie, a fifth grade student from Maryland. Charlie imagines a world different from the one he’s living in because of love. The Alligators teaches us that love can be blissful but also painful through Charlie realizing his love for Joan so he treats her better but as a result, it was only a fraction from his imagination. A counterclaim that is brought up is popular people strive for power.
Eli Norman 1020 English Dr. Beach 31 March 2017 Historical/Cultural Studies When thinking about culture, it has been evolving ever since we were born. From clothing to technology to just everyday life, culture changes almost regularly. If you ask your parents about the culture that they lived in when they were kids they would tell you that it was completely different from the one that we live in now. Even if you were to ask them about a certain thing, they would tell you that it has developed and changed rapidly, or isn’t even around anymore. In many stories, the time period of the story, is usually described by the things that are done, that are said, and even seen in the story.
Rusty Crowder Period 2 Quarter 2 Commentary #1 The Long Walk by Stephen King Pages 1-25 (Chapter 1) The story starts off with the main character, Raymond Davis Garraty. He is a 16-year-old boy from Maine. The only one competing from Maine, where the long walk takes place, and is supported by big crowds of people.
Updike exerts and manipulates the plot, character, setting, the point of view, and symbolism. These crafts incorporate with one another in the story to highlight what the character is experiencing. For example, in the story, "his face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron”… (144-145) This quote refers to Sammy looking back through the store at Lengal after he just quit his job.
Discuss one of the following regarding John Updike's "A&P": Characterization, Setting, Theme. Sammy is the narrator of this story. He is an opinionated teenager who describes people shopping at the store as “sheep”. He believes everyone acts the same.
In John Updike’s short story “A&P,” Sammy is the narrator and cashier at the grocery story A&P. The author uses dynamic characters with immensely different personalities to portray conformity and rebellion in our society. Through out the story Sammy challenges conformity and social norms at his work place for personal reasons. Sammy is very bitter character and taken as a realist which fuels the story. Queenie, a rebel against conformity, sparks Sammy’s emotions after the way she is treated by his boss Langel when she walks into the grocery store with nothing but a bikini covering her skin.