Essay PreviewMore ↓
The story is a simple conflict followed by definitive action short story. It’s a wonderful portrayal of what a young man thinks and what he will stand for and what he will not. The fascinating part is how Sammy describes the young ladies as they enter the convenience store. Updike states “She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and 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”. Sammy is only talking about one of the three young ladies in this description. The descriptive words in the story are very thought provoking; Updike refers to the girls derrieres as “cans”. Imagery and symbolism are used frequently through out the story; Sammy describes the shoppers inside the A&P Updike uses this description “sheep pushing their carts down the aisles”.
Updike uses Imagery to tell you where exactly where the A&P is located in the town, the lay out of the store and how Sammy’s co workers have a say in what he does and his work routine. Sammy is a nineteen year old man; he is no longer considered a minor by today’s’ society. He is trying to find out what he is doing working at a grocery store during the summer, in his mind he should be down on the beach checking out the ladies. The ocean seems to be just another aspect of the town, nothing too special. The following passage supports this Updike states “people in this town haven’t seen the ocean in twenty years”. Tourism is what drives ocean towns, and communities. It’s a simple matter of taxation the more money a city can make off of the natural or man made attractions the better off the city is.
How to Cite this Page
"Analysis of A&P, by John Updike." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Sep 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- An Analysis of John Updike's A&P In his short story "A & P" John Updike utilizes a 19-year-old adolescent to show us how a boy gets one step closer to adulthood. Sammy, an A & P checkout clerk, talks to the reader with blunt first person observations setting the tone of the story from the outset. The setting of the story shows us Sammy's position in life and where he really wants to be. Through the characterization of Sammy, Updike employs a simple heroic gesture to teach us that actions have consequences and we are responsible for our own actions.... [tags: A&P Essays JOhn Updike Papers]
745 words (2.1 pages)
- Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P John Updike's A&P provides numerous perspectives for critical interpretation. His descriptive metaphors and underlying sexual tones are just the tip of the iceberg. A gender analysis could be drawn from the initial outline of the story and Sammy's chauvinism towards the female. Further reading opens up a formalist and biographical perspective to the critic. After several readings I began seeing the Marxist perspective on the surreal environment of A&P.... [tags: John Updike A&P Essays]
806 words (2.3 pages)
- Interpretation of A&P This Story takes place in 1961, in a small New England town's A&P grocery store. Sammy, the narrator, is introduced as a grocery checker and an observer of the store's patrons. He finds himself fascinated by a particular group of girls. Just in from the beach and still in their bathing suits, they are a stark contrast, to the otherwise plain store interior. As they go about their errands, Sammy observes the reactions, of the other customers, to this trio of young women. He uses the word "Sheep" to describe the store regulars, as they seem to follow one and other, in their actions and reactions. The girls, however, appear to be unique in all aspects of their... [tags: John Updike A&P]
715 words (2 pages)
- John Updike's story "A&P" talks about a 19-year old lad, Sammy, who has a job at the local grocery store, the A&P. Sammy works at the register in the store and is always observing the people who walk in and out each day. On this particular day that the story takes place, Sammy is caught off guard when a cluster of girls walk into the store wearing just their bathing suits. This caught Sammy's attention because the nearest beach is five miles away and he could not figure out why they would still be in their suits.... [tags: John Updike]
1531 words (4.4 pages)
- The first line of the story, “A&P, by John Updike, “In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits”; (230) sets the tone for the rest of the story. The remainder of the story is a description of how the main character Sammy, views not only the three girls in the bathing suits , but the rest of the women that are portrayed in the story. The main character of the story is a young guy, in the early 1960s, who is working at a grocery store when these three young women walk in. He describes how they were scantily clad and walking around the store, and the reactions of the others in the store, including himself, his co-workers, his manager and other patrons.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
734 words (2.1 pages)
- The lives we live today encompass many moral aspects that would not have been socially acceptable fifty or more years ago. John Updike’s short story, A&P, addresses these issues of societal changes through a 1960’s teenager point of view. This teenager, Sammy, spends a great deal of his time working at a local supermarket, observing customers, and imagining where his life adventures will take him. Through symbolism and setting, Updike establishes the characters and conflicts; these, in turn, evolve Sammy from an observational, ignorant teenager, promoting opposition to changing social rules, into an adult who must face reality.... [tags: Literacy Analysis ]
2044 words (5.8 pages)
- William Peden once called John Updike’s “A&P” “deftly narrated nonsense...which contains nothing more significant than a checking clerk's interest in three girls in bathing suits” (Peden). While Peden’s criticism may be harsher than necessary, it is hard to find fault with his analysis. Sammy’s tale offers little more than insight into an egocentric and self-motivated mind, and while Updike may disagree with that conclusion, a close reading of the text offers significant evidence to support this theory.... [tags: Literary Analysis, William Peden]
884 words (2.5 pages)
- Raymond Carver with “Cathedral” and John Updike with “A&P” “Cathedral” and A&P both short stories written during the same century. But even though they both introduce stereotypical characters that somehow change their view of the world, they have many more different aspects. The stories differ in atmosphere and the quantity of people involve in each story. The story “Cathedral” only took place in a family house with only the husband, wife who can be qualified as a static character tried to kill herself in the past, and finally the blind man.... [tags: Stories, Literary Analysis, Comparisons]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- “Liberty is Worth Paying for. . .” Jules Verne Can an individual break hierarchical associations to find freedom and at which point would enlightenment be validated by achieving freedom through conflict. William Faulkner writes in “Barn Burning” about the desire for the individual to tear away from family because of disbelief in values and morals portrayed by a father. Abner becomes powerless with the release of slaves and chooses to transfer his negative desire for power onto his son. Although Sarty breaks the bond of blood between he and his father, he walks away with a greater sense of enlightenment.... [tags: Literature Analysis]
1488 words (4.3 pages)
- The first line of the story, “A&P, by John Updike, “In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits”; (230) sets the tone for the rest of the story. The rest of the story is a description of how the main character Sammy, views not only the three girls in the bathing suits , but the rest of the women that are portrayed in the story. The main character of the story is a young guy, in the early 60s, who is working at a grocery store when these three young ladies walk in. He describes how they were scantily dressed and walking around the store, and the reactions of the others in the store, including himself, his co-workers, his manager and other customers.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
705 words (2 pages)
Sammy is from the working middle class the author doesn’t lead on that Sammy is a pauper or a debutant either he portrays Sammy as a normal male teenager. The typical characters are all displayed in the story, Sammy is the protagonist, and Lengel the store manager is the antagonist. At first it seems that A&P is the antagonist but, as the story goes on you can clearly see what role Lengel plays in becoming the antagonist. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your job or exercising the authority given to you by being a manager, supervisor, shift leader, etc. Lengel takes his moral obligations into his apron so to speak, by giving the girls in the bathing suits the “this isn’t the beach young ladies” speech. Sammy describes Lengel as viewing the store as this great big dune and he is the head lifeguard. This description is very fitting for Lengel’s actions at the end of the story.
There are many different kinds of conflicts in A&P an internal conflict is waging between Sammy and himself, an external conflict is waging between Sammy and his manger Lengel. Sammy ultimately prevails against the internal conflict he faces, by walking out of the store once Lengel downs the girls for wearing bathing suits inside the grocery store. In today’s society it seems that if someone is wearing anything at all, much less a bathing suit that’s sufficient attire.
Sammy realizes that Lengel has crossed the line by embarrassing the girls because of their attire; he fights within himself on what to do after Lengel finishes addressing the girls. It’s the final few paragraphs in which the story is brought out, Sammy is fed up with working at the A&P and how Lengel reacts to the girls in their bathing suits seems to be the final thing to drive Sammy to the verge of quitting. Sammy has an epiphany when he realizes that there was no need in Lengel treating and embarrassing the girl’s the way he did. He up and quits, as the girls walk out of the door. In a way he is trying to make a statement about himself as well as what he believes in. But, at the same time he wants to the girls to hear him and then wait on him outside the store.
The scenario is playing in Sammy’s mind as he utters the words, “I Quit!” he envisions the girls waiting on him and saying “oh thanks Sammy, that guy was a jerk!” However, Sammy is sadly mistaken. Lengel not only tells him that he will “feel this for the rest of his life” which is true but, then he goes on to say “you don’t want to do this to your mom and dad”. The typical guilt trip, Sammy had a moral obligation in that he didn’t want to embarrass people for how they dressed. Lengel had one as well which is ironic, Lengel takes his out on the customers where as Sammy takes his out on Lengel and the A&P. Sammy realizes that he is in control of what he does, and is finally taking a stand for him and what he believes in. Sammy’s action show that he believes in himself and also his decision to quit the A&P. His decision in justified by Lengel saying “It was they who were embarrassing us”.
Updike, John. "A&P." The Bedford Introduction To Literature. Ed. Editor's Name(s). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin, 2005. pg 692-696.