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.
Customs and convictions change; respectable people are the last to know, or to admit, the change, and the ones most offended by fresh reflections of the facts in the mirror of art (Updike). The story, A&P, is written by John Updike, it takes place in a grocery store named “A&P”. Three girls were judged based on what they wore. In the short story, the main characters are the girls, manager, and the teenage boy.
The Impact of Setting in John Updike’s “A&P” “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle--the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything)--were pretty hilarious” (Updike 651). As an average cashier at a plain A&P store in the middle of town, the protagonist Sammy is unaccustomed to customers in provocative attire. Queenie and her two friends (one chunky, one tall) are outcast in a setting of tremendous social conformity, and quickly catch Sammy’s watchful eye with their unexpected bikinis. Unabashed in teenage ignorance, these three girls continue to shop for herring snacks, unaware that consequence is at their doorstep.
In the short story "A & P", John Updike explains how Sammy is a young man working as a cashier. One day three young ladies come into the supermarket half-dressed wearing only their swimsuits. Sammy is intrigued by these young women, along with everyone else in the supermarket. Sammy watches their every move, as the girls made their selections. Sammy tries to play the hero at the end of the story; however, he may have been his own worst enemy.
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.
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.
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).
In “A&P” by John Updike, the choice of Sammy as narrator in first person point of view helps communicate the message that he approves of the daring decision the girls made to go out in public wearing nothing, but their bathing suits. Therefore from the moment the girls step into the store, they capture Sammy’s attention, and he focuses on how they act. The girls draw Sammy’s attention because they are not phased by the reactions they are causing the other customers in A&P to have. While the girls are shopping Sammy tells us, “I watched them all the way… The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle — — the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one — way signs or anything) — — were pretty hilarious.
Youth is the most important time period a person goes through. It is the age that you live and learn. In the story “A and P” by John Updike, Sammy shows many signs of an adolescent. It is believable that Sammy is a part of the youth age by the control of his thoughts, focus, and dedication. In this story Sammy makes many mistakes that people learn from in their teenage years.
Every day we pass by men, women, boys, and girls of all different ages. We expect the adults to act mature like normal adults, and the kids to act like children. In the beginning of John Updike’s story “A&P”, the setting is in a store with an older woman watching to make sure that the cashier makes no mistakes with her order. However, when the cashier does mess up, the lady gets upset and warns the cashier of his mistake. After the woman leaves, the cashier goes back to looking at the girls, while other customers are now also starting to notice the girls.