Protagonist vs. Antagonist in Updike’s “A & P” The protagonist vs. the antagonist in John Updike’s story “A & P” is highly debatable. However, there is much reason to believe that Sammy is the protagonist and Lengel, Sammy’s boss, is the antagonist. Sammy is portrayed as the sweet and naïve boy next door. He seems to be a typical 19-year-old with a healthy sexual appetite. When “three girls in nothing but bathing suits” (201), walk into A & P, it is the most exciting thing that has happened to Sammy while working at the store. In this new situation, Sammy rethinks about his life and future. Sammy is the protagonist because he is the character that changes the most throughout the story. He changes into a character that takes an active role
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The use of various and different archetypes such as the threshold guardian and the defiant anti-hero in “A&P” coveys John Updike’s changing perception of women and the values in today’s society. When the reader is first introduced to Sammy, they see him observing “three girls in nothing but bathing suits” and privately starts pointing out distinct physical features such as their “sweet broad soft-looking can” and how “the third one wasn’t so tall. She was the queen.” (Updike 1). Sammy is a very atypical person and doesn’t fall under society’s norm of a gentleman or one who shows any form of chivalry towards women..
Societal changes and cultural differences affect our daily lives both consciously and unconsciously regardless of the cohort. A&P, composed by John Updike, tells of a 19-year-old store clerk, Sammy, who watched three girls create a stir between customers and co-workers after walking through the aisles in their bathing suits; as a result, they were insulted by the manager, Lengel, in front of everyone in the store. Sammy was mesmerized by the one he referred to as, “Queenie” (Updike) as she gracefully and confidently defended her and her friend’s honor after Lengel scolded them for their attire. Consequently, Queenie’s actions inspired Sammy to be their “unsuspected hero” (Updike) and quit his job in hopes of them noticing his heroic act but
In many cases, people may be forced by external circumstances to make decisions that they would not have made if such circumstances did not present themselves. The results of such decisions can either have a positive or negative impact on the lives of an individual. Such a case is well presented in the story A &P by John Updike where the major character, Sammy is portrayed to be rebellious. His rebellion appears to have more disadvantages than advantages as it complicates his life in many cases, which leads him into making uninformed decisions. It is, therefore, true to say that Sammy's rebellion in the John Updike's A & P is more futile than heroic and only makes negative complications in his life.
Regardless the constraint he feels inside the store, A&P, Sammy simply expresses his wanting to have Queenie, who symbolises freedom due the actions she does that he considers rebellious to the principles and the ordinary. The story unfolds with Sammy noticing the three girls enter A&P “in nothing but bathing suits” and shows an immediate and strong attention to them enough to make him forget whether he rang the HiHo crackers. He begins to describe the girls and states that first girl’s “belly was still pretty pale” and that the second had “black hair that hadn't quite frizzed right”. After a short explanation of the previous girls, Sammy portrays an endless detail of the last one, whom he calls Queenie of how she “walked straight on slowly”
A major theme in A&P is personal freedom. Throughout the story Updike uses metaphor for all elements in the story to implies the theme. At the beginning of the story, Sammy uses sarcastic tone to describe the customers as “sheep” and “houseslaves” which implies he is different from them in mindset. The way how Sammy talks about others shows his intellectual mind. He is not same as Stokesie who wants to be a manager one day.
A&P: The Perspective of Sammy “A&P” by John Updike tells the story of Sammy, a teenage boy working at a grocery store, when he sees three girls dressed in swimsuits enter. Quickly, Sammy becomes infatuated with the leading girl whom he dubs “Queenie”. Eventually, the girls are accosted by the manager for dressing inappropriately and Sammy quits in both an act of rebellion and wanting the appreciation of the girls. All throughout the story Sammy’s sarcastic and inquisitive nature comes out leading to a distinct voice and thought process the reader follows giving the reader a very opinionated view of all the characters and action in the story.
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.
John Updike's short story "A&P" is about a 19-year-old boy “Sammy” who is going through changes in his life, and has to make crucial decisions that are going to affect his job and his future in the long run. The story is set in an A&P grocery store, in a town north of Boston, and begins with Sammy’s description of the three girls that enter the store. Sammy decides to quit his job in order to impress the girl “Queenie.” Unfortunately, his gentlemanly act goes unnoticed by Queenie and her friends, and he has no choice but to face the consequences of his action. The author of the story clarifies that Sammy’s immaturity comes from his judgmental attitude, sexist beliefs, and disrespectful attitude.
John Updike’s story “A&P” is a literary masterpiece that reveals the expectations of a man at the prime of his youth and an old manager in a society that is seemingly so strict on social ideals. Told from the first person point of view, the story is a strong way to show what the character Sammy learns in the shop as he develops his personality traits through the buyers and the manager. Written in the present simple tense, the story proves to be more appropriate for oral presentation. The purpose of this essay is to present a critical analysis of the personality traits of the character Sammy. In order to present the character traits analysis, the essay contends that a person is described through what they say, do, and think, what others think or say about them, or how the author describes them.
John Updike tell a story of a young lad hoping his acts of heroism will impress his female colleagues. The static characters are constant as the story proceeds though when they do speak, a series of changes in the dynamic characters occurs. The main static characters in this story are Stokesie, Queenie and Lengel, They bring out the changes in Sammy, the dynamic character. Queenie doesn’t change her etiquettes or habits throughout the story and that makes her the static character. She is the feminine leader and takes control of everything around her.
Point of View of John Updike’s “A&P” In the short story A&P written by John Updike is written in the 1st person naïve point of view. A&P is considered 1st person naïve because the narrator is too young to be trusted. He also is telling us the story as he feels to be the truth. The main character of this story is Sammy and the author Updike chooses 1st person to Naïve because he wants to show the readers what Sammy is thinking from his point of view aka his emotions and reactions to certain situations.
“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.
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.
In the short story, “A&P”, by John Updike, the central idea is that you are always being judged even when you think you aren’t. The author’s use of characterization helps reveal the central idea through the three girls. The three girls physical appearance were constantly being judged by society. Through Lengel’s actions and one of the girls be referred to as Queenie, the reader becomes aware of how judgmental society is toward females. In fact, Lengel goes on to say, “we want to decently dress when you come in here” (3).