Sammy has quit his job to stand against Lengel. Sammy wanted to show his heroism to the girls and hope that they saw him being brave for quitting his job. Unfortunately, the three girls didn’t stick around to exchange numbers or maybe even a kiss on the cheek and the story ends on a kind of lonely note. Sammy is now outside the grocery story, looking in where he sees Lengel checking out people, since Sammy quit. Even though he left the store of his own will, he probably feels lonely to be shut out of something he used to be a part of.
“I pull the bow at the back off my apron and start shrugging it off my shoulders” (Updike). This proves how he didn't interact with the girls. Although he was trying to be “heroic”, the girls never noticed. Whenever he done his so called “heroic” act the girls didn't even notice. “The door flies open and they flicker across the lot to their car” (Updike).
When I was writing my response, I thought of the word gender but nonconformity never came to mind when I read the story. Non-conformity is a good way to explain why people are distracted by the girls since it doesn’t follow the norm of the community. Do you think Sammy might be a little embarrassed for the girls since he explains in paragraph ten, “… the women generally put on a shirt or shorts or something…”? Another good point you brought up is stereotypical view. Sammy has the stereotypical view of women in A&P referring to them as “house-slaves in pin curlers” and the younger girls through his vivid descriptions of what the girls appearance in their bathing suits.
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
In the two pieces “A&P” by John Updike and “The Harlem Dancer” by Claude McKay both the narrator and speaker see women as nothing more than beautiful objects, symbols of elegance and status. However, it is these thoughts that ultimately lead them to become morally better and draw new conclusions about not only themselves but women as well. In the beginning of “A&P” we see Sammy, the narrator observe “three girls in nothing but bathing suits”(1624). He denotes each of their characteristics in vivid detail describing one girl’s butt as 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”(1624). This lengthy description shows us how captivated Sammy is by this sight; he doesn’t mention her face.
She didn’t look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long prima-donna legs.” From this description, the reader can understand why Sammy has dubbed this character as the leader of her trio. Furthermore, the reader can infer that the Queen is sassy, fierce, and confident. Additionally, Updike’s literary method not only aids the story in character development, but also depicts the severity of the girls’ actions by wearing bathing suits into a supermarket. Through Sammy, Updike explains how the girls startled shoppers by their attire, “You could see them, when Queenie’s white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup,
Throughout Tennessee William’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ feminine ideals of appearance are associates with ablutions and bathing. This is due to the view of water having renewing properties, the mental health associations of bathing within both texts, and the patriarchal view of feminine appearances. In William’s and Plath’s literary works, water is depicted as having renewal properties in the central feminine characters of both plots. In the character of Blanche DuBois this is most notable when she exclaims, “Oh, I feel so goof after my long, hot bath, I feel so good and cool and – rested!”. Blanche’s frequent baths, along with the excessive amount of time spent in the bathroom within the play, exemplify her attempts at purifying herself from the events of past and present.
As if to show that she is like a blooming flower with a radiant white skin that “dawned” the other customers, she and her girls strode along the aisle with their bare foot. They are clearly do not care about what other people think about their behavior. Updike also contradicts Queenie’s attitude with her other two friends, from Sammy’s point of view, they do seem a bit uncomfortable being the center of attention for something that they know is wrong. What Updike tries to tell his readers is, not all girls are bold as Queenie in provoking the social norm for being decent by taking the risks of being humiliated
As made apparent by Sammy’s first thought outside, “I look around for my girls, but they’re gone of course” (pg. #7), Sammy initially quit his job in the moment to gain praise from the girls and hopefully to have them swooning over him, but all along he knew the chances of gaining praise from them was slim. Although Sammy was hoping the girls would be waiting for him after he quit his job to stand up for them, he wasn’t really surprised by their absence; He expected it. As Sammy stated “I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter,” (pg.#7) without a job and without any form of reward for his somewhat heroic act, Sammy finally realized the challenges women in society face. Overall, A&P by John Updike is a short story raising awareness for women’s rights as well as proving that you shouldn’t judge someone based on their appearances.
His manager doesn’t think so highly of them. He tells them that they can’t go to the A&P dressed for the beach. This embarrasses the girls a lot, but Sammy sees this as an opportunity to become their “hero”. So as they’re walking out Sammy tells the manager that he quits. After the manager and Sammy argue about it Sammy walks out to the parking lot to look for “his girls” that he thought would like him because he stood up for them, but they were gone.
Many people have a tendency to continuously possess many things, and end up having a room overfilled with things. In the passage “Tyranny of Things” Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris argues that possessions eventually start to make people feel overwhelmed and could become an oppression. Morris supports her claim with an anecdote, appeal to reason, and imagery. Morris starts the passage with an anecdote of two teenage girls talking. The two girls quickly becomes friends after learning that they both like things.
“Bathing Suits” Setting helps contribute to the insight, knowledge and understanding to the meaning of many stories. In the short story “A & P” by John Updike, the setting plays a large part to the understanding of why the “three girls” in “bathing suits” are so criticized and judged. The main character Sammy, a cashier worker, sees the three girls walk in the A and P in “nothing but bathing suits” and instantly takes interest and starts checking out the girls. The reason him and others take sudden interest in the girls is because they are not dressed for the place, the social environment, or the time period they are in. Being in an A and P grocery store is usually not the place for someone to be wearing bathing suits.