The Hero In John Updike's A & P

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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. Sammy describes the three girls in great detail throughout the story. "The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white Just under it, where the sun never seems to hit at the top of the backs of her legs" (496). Sammy refers to the next young lady as, " one with chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn 't quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes, and a chin that was too…show more content…
From the moment the girls walked into the supermarket Sammy was checking them out. The ladies were walking towards the meat department, being led by "Queenie" of course. They stopped and asked McMahon a question about somethings whereabouts in the supermarket. The moment the girls turned and started walking away from McMahon, Sammy noticed that McMahon was checking them out from head to toe. Sammy said, "Poor kids, I began to feel sorry for them, they couldn 't help it" (498). In this moment, Sammy 's feelings for the girls changed, and he started to sympathize with them. He forms a different perspective of the girls. He feels sorry for them because of the way McMahon is gawking at them. Up to this point he has been looking at the two girls and "Queenie" the same way as McMahon did. Maybe Sammy did not see it that way just by looking at himself. He noticed how McMahon "sized up their joints" (498), and he did
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