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Comparing A&P and An Ounce of Cure Essay

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Comparing A&P and An Ounce of Cure


If a reader is given two short stories, two stories that are seemingly different on the surface, to read and compare and contrast, a surprising amount of similarities and differences can be found. Unless they deal with the same subject matter, most short stories aren't really related, until some analysis is done. The stories "A&P," by John Updike, and "An Ounce of Cure," by Alice Munro, are very similar but very different.
One of the mot important similarities between these two stories is the problems the opposite sex "causes" for the main character. In "A&P," Sammy, the main character, quits his job because he thinks that his boss has mistreated and embarrassed three young ladies that were shopping in the store. In "An Ounce of Cure," the female main character's boyfriend dumps her and she responds by trying to overdose on aspirin, gets drunk, and loses almost all of her baby-sitting jobs.
Another similarity between these two stories is the fact that they are set between thirty and forty years ago. This is very important to both stories. In "A&P," the young ladies wouldn't have been walking around in a store in their bathing suits, and they definitely wouldn't have been wearing a two piece bathing suit if this had been set any earlier. Also, Sammy probably wouldn't have quit his job just because his boss embarrassed a few young ladies. In "An Ounce of Care," the main character would have never thought about drinking at such a young age. Also, she wouldn't even have been in the situation if the story had been set earlier because she would have been forbidden to
date. These things have become more acceptable in recent times. The titles are also important to the stories. I...


... middle of paper ...


...e felt good with himself afterwards. The girl in "An Ounce of Cure" seems to get depressed very easily. She is young and should be able to get over getting dumped fairly easily. She also has a negative view of other people. Even though she might not have known some of the other people in the story very well, that didn't stop her from being a typical teenage girl and forming opinions of people she doesn't know well, if at all.
Stories don't have to have obvious similarities and differences to be similar and different. If a reader simply reads into the story a little bit and infers a small amount of information, similarities and differences can be found. A good example of this are the two short stories "A&P," by John Updike, and "An Ounce of Cure," by Alice Munro. They seem to be totally unrelated on the surface, but can be compared and contrasted very easily.


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