Sticking To Your Principles In John Updike's A & P

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Sticking to Your Principles John Updike’s best known story “A&P” is a tale of a young 19 year-old boy, name Sammy who works in a local supermarket, as a cashier. While Sammy is attempting to persuade his audience to fully understand why he impulsively quit his job one day, some may feel that he had absolutely no legit reason to quit. He narratively gives a very vivid description of everything that happens. There are a lot of critics with similar and opposing opinions. My opinion still stands; Sammy acts decisively when standing up for what he thinks is right. Standing up for what you believe in is an essential life skill. Some people, like author of the literary essay “Updike and the Critics: Reflections of “A&P”, Ronald McFarland, …show more content…

As a matter of fact, Sammy could have easily reneged on his word. He could have taken back what he said with Lengel’s questioning, “I don’t think you know what you are saying” (Updike 4). He pleaded with Sammy to reconsider his actions for the sake of his parents. Lengel blatantly mentions, “You don’t want to do this to you mom and dad” (Updike 5). Truth be told, Sammy did not want to upset his parents, nor did he wish to ruin the friendship they had with his manager. All he had in mind was a pretty girl he needed to save that day. In the literary essay, Irony and Innocence in John Updikes “A&P”, Lawrence Jay Dessner calls it the “inability to imagine himself personally at risk” Dessner seems to be titling Sammy as immortal. Immortality to me, is …show more content…

Toni Saldivar explains Sammy as having, “the power to be deeply moved by the presence of beautiful objects” (Saldivar 222). This could be true, being as Sammy may have not cared enough to quit his job if not for how” strikingly attractive” (Updike 1) she appeared. He wanted to impress her. Under those circumstances, he hoped that the girls would turn around to consent to what he was doing. As a result, run to him grateful for how he stood up for them. He quit his job wishing to be noticed by Queenie. Sammy protest his opinion of the matter to Lengel by stating,” You didn’t have to embarrass them” (Updike 4). Right then, the reader knew that Sammy felt a bit emotional concerning Queenie. He wanted to, in a sense, protect Queenie from the judgement of Lengel. The kind of protection only a “hero” can provide. Sammy is said to be, “a romantic who becomes a modernist” (Saldivar 224). To him, Queenie was the most beautiful girl he had seen. Nothing in this present world mattered at that

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