In the short story A&P by John Updike, the story is told in a first person narrative of a teenage boy working as a cashier in an A&P grocery store on a hot summer day. The story begins with the teenage boy named Sammy becoming preoccupied by a group of three teenage girls that walk into the grocery store wearing bathing suits. Sammy admires the girl's beauty as most nineteen year old adolescent boys would, in a slightly lewd and immature nature. His grammar is flawed and he is clearly not of an upper-class family, his job appears to be a necessity for a son of a family that is not well off. The name he gives the girl who seems to be the object of his desire, Queenie, portrays a social difference from himself. Sammy further imagines the differences in class and living style when he describes Queenie's voice as "kind of tony, the way it ticked over 'picked up' and 'snacks'." He imagines her with aristocratic home life in describing “her father and the other men were standing around in ice-cream coats and bow ties and the women were in sandals picking up herring snacks on toothpicks off a big glass plate and they were holding drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them."Sammy compares his own parents occasions, where they serve their guests "lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with 'They'll Do It Every Time' cartoons stenciled on."
Sammy does not appear to be content with his social standing by referencing “sheep-like customers who live five miles from the bea...
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...cts to attain from both the Araby bazaar and Mangan's sister. He perceives, his world is increasingly insufficient and obstructing the possibility of his fulfillment of life. The boy seems to envision all his happiness will be accomplished through this mission, only to have his dreams dashed upon arriving at Araby and finding most of the stalls closed. The ending leads to his discovery of a disappointing reality, that he will not be bringing Mangan's sister anything from Araby and he has become a creature driven and derided by vanity.
Updike, John. "A&P." Literature and the Writing Process. Comp. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, Robert Funk, Linda Coleman. Longman, 2010. Print. (Updike 440-444)
Joyce, James. "Dubliners." fullbooks.com. David Reed Haradda, 06 Nov 2004. Web. 27 Apr 2011.
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