A & P By John Updike

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The first person narrator of John Updike’s “A&P” is a teenage boy working as a cashier who quits his job after his manager confronts three female customers about their inappropriate attire. This point of view gives readers a better understanding of the protagonist, Sammy. His precise descriptions of the girls’ physical appearance suggests that Sammy is an observant and always aware of his surroundings. Sammy’s point of view presents his natural attraction towards the opposite sex when he sees a group of girls walking into the grocery store wearing bikinis. This first-person narration conveys the protagonist’s thoughts and explains why Sammy quits his job at the end of the story; his character and point of view reinforce Updike’s central idea that acting impulsive, to impress the girls and to be different from his manager and his co-workers; has long-lasting consequences. However, readers might know less about Sammy if Updike’s “A&P” were narrated by the character Queenies; instead if she were its first person narrator, Updike’s central idea would be about girls overusing their appea...

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