A & P: Why Sammy Quit

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In the short story called "A & P" by John Updike, our main character Sammy is described as being a checkout clerk at the local grocery store. Sammy quits his job for many reasons. Sammy does not want to be referred as a "sheep", someone that follows, instead he wishes to do things on his own. Sammy begins the story by describing the three girls in bathing suits who have walked into the A & P grocery store. The girl who catches his attention is a chunky girl in a plaid green two-piece swimsuit. As Sammy continues to observe the girls, his interest seems to focus only on the girl who leads the other two into the store. Sammy refers to the girl he likes as "Queenie",someone showing poise and leadership, while the other girls seem to just tag along like a herd of sheep. Being distracted by the unusual event, he forgets what he's doing, as his customer, an elderly lady with heavy red make-up on her lips and cheeks, gets frustrated and starts to correct Sammy's inattentive service. The story elaborates on how Sammy is very observant, and we begin to understand his perspectives on events he appreciates versus those he doesn't. Sammy further describes the girls, saying to himself "You never know for sure how girls' minds work (do you really think it's a mind in there or just a little buzz like a bee in a glass jar?) you get the idea she had talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yourself straight."(16). Sammy believes that the other two girls are willing to tag along with "Queenie" because she talked them into going, pointing out they just like anything and everything that "Queenie" likes for the sake of being cool, and once the interest in somethin... ... middle of paper ... ..., to act like if nothing had happened, he would be a "sheep" himself. Sammy doesn't want to be told what to do and such. He wants to make his own decisions. He feels that he has the right to stand up for himself. Sammy considers a "sheep" is someone who can't stand up for themselves or a follower. This is a cute short story. I like the fact that Updike tries to point out and relate to the people of society nowdays. Updike relates to how the average person changes, but that doesn't mean everyone. And it's not good to be seen a "sheep." Don't be a follower. It's better for one to have a brain and be different. Don't be the person who goes out to buy a red hat because you've just seen a commerical on red hats. We're suppose to be unique and special. This is why Sammy quit his job, he doesn't want to be seen as a "sheep." He believes that everyone should be themselves.

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