A & P John Updike Analysis

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A Critical Review Essay of John Updike’s “A&P” John Updike wrote the story of “A&P” in the sixties. The story takes place in the A&P grocery store a few miles from the beach, where the main character Sammy, a nineteen-year-old boy works. He is unhappy with his job and finds it to be a bore. He does not even consider the customers in the store as people anymore. He refers to them as sheep. He gets distracted by three teenaged females that enter his job, wearing nothing but swimsuits. Sammy and his male coworker lust after the girls, as they shop. He labels one of the girls as Queenie, because the other girls seem to just follow in her steps. The entire store watches as the girls move about in the store and the onlookers seem to be curious…show more content…
It is possible to still see these factors affect society today. The story explained how the appearance of the girls affects the community. “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle – the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything) – were pretty hilarious. You could see them, when Queenie 's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed. (Updike, A&P) This shows that in the small town that if you dressed outside of what society deems socially acceptable you would draw unwanted attention. The regular shoppers were all the same and the girls coming in created a disruption that was not normal in this part of town. It added a sense of rebellion and took away the perpetuating cycle of boredom and lack of excitement that Sammy and all the customers were used to at the A&P. This is still relevant in today’s society. Although society as a whole is more accepting of less modest clothes, it finds certain appearances with a unique kind of awareness. Each character portrays the struggle for power. The Manager, Lengel shows…show more content…
Sammy comes in contact with a lot of people from different classes. He is in the young working class. The girls and Queenie appear to be rich, because they have been at the beach, not working. They come into A&P to purchase snacks that Sammy views as a higher class snack than would be served at his parents’ house. The Manager, Mr. Lengel is in a middle class above Sammy, but below the girls social class. The story is driven by the classes that are found throughout and greatly influence the reader’s depiction of what is taking place in the mind of Sammy, the
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