John Updike 's A&P features a young man in a typical 'boy meets girl ' situation. Sammy works in a grocery store where the most interesting thing to happen is old woman “checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering” (Updike 2). Then, three women clad in “nothing but bathing suits” (Updike 1) who are seeming reprieves for Sammy from his boring situation enter the grocery store he works in. Sammy is amazed, and begins to think of nothing but these three girls. As they roam through the aisles of the store Sammy “watched them all the way” (Updike 2). Sammy appears to be enticed with these girls so vigorously that he can do nothing but watch them. Updike wishes to present Sammy as a simple young man whose only purpose is to lust after these girls. In reality, there is other things that young men would be thinking of besides the girls. But, Updike does not make reference to these things. Sammy, as a main character, has no character development save his humorous relationship with his coworker, which ...
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... improper portrayal of males is offensive to any civilized man with a sense of intelligence.
John Updikes A&P and James Joyce 's Araby appear to be typical short stories by first glance. Though, when one examines their true purpose and commentary it is revealed to be a direct assault on the principles of what it means to be a man. Both short stories depict men whose only purpose is to impress females; or, men who are simply foolish. While both stories are misogynistic superficially as the men treat the women as sex objects, the true offence is the misandristic stereotype that this is what a typical teenage boy would do. This idea permeates through the entirety of both stories. This irresponsible idealism negatively effects ones view of males as a gender. This leaves one question, if the misogyny of the stories is widely reputed, why is the misandry blatantly ignored?
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