The Use Of Symbolism In 'A & P'

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Primarily, "A & P" is a story about growing up, related circumstances and important transition from childhood to adulthood. At the beginning of the story, the reader meets Sammy, an ordinary nineteen-year-old who works at a grocery store. Though, his inner changes start when he observes the reactions to the girls. Actually, he is amused by these reactions and frustrated at the same time. He feels that he does not want to work at a grocery till the end of his days. In general, the whole story along with Sammy's alterations themselves are rich in symbolism. Hence, the main purpose of this essay is to provide an evidence regarding the symbols in "A & P". Basically, the general setting of the narrative is one of the most significant symbols. The same applies to the shoppers to whom Sammy frequently refers as to sheep. Both grocery and…show more content…
In particular, the older generation is depicted mainly in negative terms, for example, Sammy refers to one of the shoppers as a witch. "She's one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, and I know it made her day to trip me up" ("A&P - John Updike"). That is a symbol of the inability of the older generation to understand youth. At the same time, Queenie, one of the girls, symbolizes all fascinating of being a woman and by herself represents the life which to Sammy seems fairly enjoyable yet unreachable. Sammy's older co-worker named Stokesie is a symbol of the life the protagonist may have headed for. Stokesie is married, bounded to his children and several opportunities for different life. "Stokesie's married, with two babies chalked up on his fuselage already, but as far as I can tell that's the only difference. He's twenty-two, and I was nineteen this April" ("A&P - John Updike"). Lengel is a general symbol of the older generation who does not want to hear anything about youthful
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