Unusual Clothing In John Updike's A & P

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If someone walked into a market wearing weird or unusual clothing, would people give them weird looks? “A & P” by John Updike is a short story which features the protagonist, Sammy, a 19 year old male. While at his job, a cashier in a supermarket, he sees three girls wearing bikinis walk in. The story continues and shows how his obsession with the “leader” of the group, while also showing how his feelings change over time. Sammy’s original feelings of being shy changing to a more hero-like feel near the end of the story show how his change throughout the story. Sammy’s actions in the beginning were very different than his actions near the end. For example, he stayed in his aisle and observed the girls while trying to not be seen. During this time, he listed off many observations about two of the three, but became fascinated by the third. He listed off a much larger amount for her compared to the other two, and even gave her the label “Queenie”. After they had picked the item they wanted to get, they had to choose between his aisle and a co-workers, and to his disappointment, they had to check out with him.This is shown when it says “but Stokesie with his usual luck draws an old party in … so the girls come to me” (17). This proves that Sammy had mixed feelings about having to talk to the girls face to face and not being able to…show more content…
Lengel approaches him and the girls and starts to argue with them about what they’re wearing. During this time, Sammy starts to get more involved. After giving them their item that was purchased, he tries to be a hero telling him that he quits, hoping the girls would hear him and give him attention. Unfortunately for him, the girls ignore him and continue to leave, showing that even though Sammy tried to help, nothing was gained. In the end, Sammy lost his job, gained nothing, and wasn’t acknowledged by the people he wanted to be acknowledged
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