“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. This crafts a story with a in-depth focus on the mind of a character, who makes the choice to rebel because of three girls wearing swimsuits in a grocery store.
In the book The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros demonstrates in her writing how a child can be forced to mature too rapidly. Esperanza encounters sexism, racism, and discrimination towards the poor that impacted her paradigm of the world around her. The motif occurring throughout the novel is how a young girl must become a woman before they are ready. In the chapter “The Monkey Garden”, Esperanza makes one of her final transitions into the woman, her environment forces her to be, this is shown by the change of her opinion of her shoes, the realization of woman accepting manipulation by men, and her loss of childlike interest in the Monkey Garden.
Sally is a significant character who Esperanza meets during the course of the story. She is Esperanza's friend from school who impacts her negatively. Sally gets Esperanza raped by two red clowns, since she feeds Esperanza false information. Sally exposes Esperanza to negative situations that should not happen. Esperanza explains, "Sally, you lied. It wasn't what you said at all. What he did. Where he touched me. I didn't want it, Sally." (Cisneros, 99). In addition, Sally acts incredibly different in school than at home. During school, she yearns to be the most popular student, so
Despite the variety of girls in the neighborhood, one of Esperanza’s closest friends ends up being Sally, who has moved from one abusive home to the next. Sally’s father was a very strict man and she constantly disobeyed him once out of his sight. Whenever Sally is caught dressing “provocative” or acting “too old” her father decides to teach her a lesson. One of the most important examples of the abuse is in the vignette What Sally Said, “Until the way Sally tells it, he just went crazy, he just forgot he was her father between the buckle and the belt” (93). In his fits of rage it is as if Sally’s dad does not know who she is and continues to blindly hit her until he has calmed down again. With
In The House on Mango Street written by Sandra Cisneros, the dominant theme for these collection of vignettes is the dreams and beauty expressed throughout the book using poetic devices.
“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.
As young men and women mature, barriers will appear in their everyday lives. Discovering how to move around these obstacles is challenging. In The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, various characters realize the struggle of breaking free from a trapped existence to move forward into independence. Using a variety of literary devices, Cisneros brings her readers on an adventure, showing them these hard encounters through motif and imagery.
The male-dominated society that Esperanza grows up in forces the idea that women are weak and should stay locked in their houses while men go off to work. The men are immoral and seedy, as expressed in the chapter in which a homeless man leers and asks for a kiss from the little girls. Esperanza experiences the evil of her community when she is sexually assaulted, causing her to lose her previous desire to explore her sexuality. Before being assaulted, she wanted to be “beautiful and cruel” like her friend Sally, because Sally was what she understood to be a perfect woman. However, after her rape she decides that she needs to discover her own identity for herself. Esperanza shifts from a follower into a confused individual, allowing her to begin her life as a woman outside of the oppressive nature of Mango Street.
The narrator, Esperanza is telling the reader, her childhood innocence has disappeared and she knows the hard times her family is going through. And she was constantly put in an environment where she was starting to not believe in her parents or in
Esperanza begins to notice she is being watched by a boy in the neighborhood. This boy, Sire, evokes mixed emotions from Esperanza. Part of Esperanza feels afraid of Sire’s attention. “They didn’t scare me. They did, but I wouldn’t let them know” (72). Esperanza tries to fight this ‘childish’ fear of boys, and she doesn’t cross the street like the other girls. Esperanza attempts to get over her fear, and looks back at him, straight into his eyes. “I had to look back hard, just once, like he was glass. And I did. I did once” (72). She wants to overcome her childish tendencies and transition into womanhood. When Esperanza sees Sire’s girlfriend her interest in Sire and his relationship increases. She even begins to imagine what it would feel like to have a boyfriend. “I want to sit bad at night, a boy around my neck and the wind under my skirt” (73). This represents the arrival of puberty, which is demonstrated by Esperanza’s desire to behave in a grown-up way. Cisneros goes on to describe Esperanza’s hormonal changes when Esperanza says “Everything is holding its breath inside me… waiting to explode like Christmas” (73). Esperanza feels excited for her first romantic encounter with a boy, yet her excitement gets shattered when the encounter occurs. Sally takes Esperanza to the carnival, but Sally leaves with another boy. Some type of sexual encounter takes places, and although we don’t know
When Esperanza meets Sally, she is opened up to a new world she had only seen portrayed in media. She is just beginning to have feelings for boys, but Sally comes along and not only seems to just like boys, but acts on those feelings as well. She builds up the idea of sex for Esperanza as a comforting thing, but Sally is just using it as a means of escape from her abusive father. When Esperanza is sexually assaulted by the boys at the carnival, she is confused and hurt. She
This situation showed her inability to react normally in a tough situation. This showed how Esperanza acted differently during a time in which she could not change the situation. Furthermore, in The House on Mango Street, an example of the theme is exhibiting when Esperanza had to help her friend by the name of Sally. During this time in which Esperanza acted rash when she thought something bad would happen to Sally unless she helped her. Sally is at the fair. Sally and Esperanza go to the fair alone, and Esperanza is raped by the red clowns. Sally acts in a way different to her character when faced with a tough decision of choosing between Esperanza or not. In the novella of The House on Mango Street, there were examples of Esperanza, when faced with hardship acting out of
Believe it or not, people are not entirely unique. It is certain that no one is truly the same as another person, but it would not be ridiculous to think that everyone does in fact share many similarities. After all, the majority of the population grows and develops opinions or values based on what they see or hear. For Esperanza, the protagonist of Sandra Cisneros’s, The House on Mango Street, the perspective she has is built upon her childhood on Mango Street. This coming-of-age novel illustrates how Esperanza’s experiences on Mango Street play an important role during her period of growth. As she transitions into womanhood, Esperanza gains a new understanding of weighty concepts such as gender roles. On Mango Street, she is exposed to a variety of females who fill the role model and non-role model categories. Specifically, Esperanza’s observations of the characters, Marin, Sally, and Alicia, reveal the oppressive or often dangerous roles placed on women and how they ultimately influence the development of her identity.
In the short story A&P by John Updike, the main character Sammy who works at the cashier register in the A&P- (which is a super market), is the protagonist. There are three girls the A&P in the middle of town around the mid to late 90’s, in bathing suit. Making the dressing completely unnecessary in that sort of setting. Especially since it’s in the middle of town nowhere near the beach. Everyone-well the few that are there- are ogling at their bodies and attire. Lengel informs them about their indecency. Sammy- who was initially in love with Queenie and sexist- sides with the three girls especially Queenie. Although Sammy then realizes that their human as well and, shouldn’t be treated differently because of appearance is different. Queenie leads to him quitting his job after realizing his behavior was quite ardent and the situation he got in was unfair to himself.
The grocery store was not that busy, informed in the story that “The stores pretty empty, it being Thursday afternoon, so there was nothing much to do except lean on the register and wait for the girls to show up again” (Updike 475). Sammy did not miss the opportunity to keep his eyes on the girls, especially since he was instantly interested in Queenie who was introduced to us as the leader among the girls. Each of the girls was different and had bathing suits on. Sammy was very descriptive about each bathing suit; he included many details. Queenie “had on a kind of dirty-pink beige maybe, I don’t know bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down, they were off the shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of her arms, and I guess"(Updike 473). Queenie has noticed Sammy looking at her and didn’t pay him any mind mostly because Queenie knew she was being looked upon by the way she dressed. Especially when the manager Lengel caught eyes with the girls. Unlike Sammy who did not mind the way the girls were dressed Lengel was not pleased with the way the girls dressed in his store, “We want you decently dressed when you come in here” (Updike 476). Queenie stood up for her friends and herself by letting the manager know that they were indeed decent and there was no need for them to be