Sammy was able to bring attention to himself, but it did not work the way that he had hoped it would. The girls most likely didn’t even acknowledge that he even quit. He tried very hard to get Queenie to see him and accept him, but that didn’t work either. Since Sammy’s attempt to impress the girls did not work, he was left standing in a deep shadow called life. I agree with Nathan Hatcher who wrote, "Sammy quits his job not on a matter of ideals, but rather as a means of showing off and trying to impress the girls, especially Queenie" (37).
He said “…my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.” The question sometimes at the end of a story is what happens now? Why not before, when he was standing in the store, think harder? Sammy was only wanting to impress the girls and did a selfish act and quit his job, not thinking of his future after walking out. Why not finish the day instead of making another person complete the job you left behind? There are many questions that the narrator left us but no answers given.
Once the manager approaches them, we later read that Sammy quits his job. Following his first announce in him quitting, he says, "You didn't have to embarrass them" (152), which let us know, he felt the girls were embarrassed. Sammy's main point for quitting his job at A&P, in his and my opinion, is to be an "unsuspected hero" (152). In a interview with Donald M. Murray, John Updike himself, states his opinions on the story A & P. He gives his opinion on Sammy's attraction toward Queenie, and also Sammy's decision on quitting his job. As he talked on Sammy's attraction toward Queenie, he states, "There's an element of social inequality here..." (Updike).
All of the main characters in the story must make a choice and endure the consequences of that choice”. Sammy's consequence is losing his job and ultimately everything he had. Among the many reasons he could have quit his job, the manager was possibly the major reason for Sammy to make such a decision. The manager not only embarrassed the three girls, but his actions he could have triggered Sammy to acknowledge the reason he hates the degrading of women. According to Short Stories for Students the manager “Has known Sammy’s parents for a long time…” So it’s clear that he is not just a manager but a friend of Sammy’s parents, making Sammy feel more conflicted about disappointing the people he loved.
His rash decision of quitting his job for girls that had no idea he was even there shows the human nature of wanting to be noticed and loved. Humans were made to be in relationship with other humans, and when they are deprived of that attention they usually end up doing something drastic in order to get the least bit of attention. Updike used Sammy to connect with his readers in a way in which we’d realized that we all have a deep desire to be known by the world, but if we let that desire consume us into neglecting the good things we already had in life, it can ultimately destroy us.
He gets distracted from his duties at work and makes mistakes because he is busy gawking at some girls, and he ultimately quits those duties simply to try to impress those girls. Even though Sammy is nineteen, he is not mature enough to hold to his own responsibilities. Rather, he runs from them to retreat into his own sensuality. "In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits"(Kennedy 13). This is how the story "A&P", and subsequently, Sammy's shirking of his duties begins.
Bathing Beauties John Updike’s “A&P” is a short story about a nineteen year old boy during the 1960’s that has a summer job at the local A&P grocery. The main character in the story, Sammy, realizes that life isn’t always fair and that sometimes a person makes decisions that he will regret. Sammy sees that life doesn’t always go as planned when three young girls in bathing suits walk in and his manager Lengel gives them a hard time, and he comes to term with that sometimes you make bad decisions. Sammy is astounded by three young girls that walk into his store in their bathing suits. He follows their every move as they peruse over the cookies and other goods.
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.
One day at work, Sammy notices that three attractive females have walked into the store wearing only their bathing suits. Immediately Sammie notices “Queenie,” a name he gave to the most attractive girl. “Queenie” appears to be the leader in the group of the three girls. “Plaid” is also one of the three girls wearing the bathing suits. She is attractive, but is no match for “Queenie's” beauty.
The short story “A & P” by John Updike is about a young man’s decision to stand up for others or, in the other characters’ opinions, make a foolish decision by abandoning his responsibility. At first he believes his decision is the right thing, quitting his job for how the girls were being treated. Then when he gets outside of the store, he realizes the world he just left behind, regrets his decision, and begins to question his actions. He starts to overthink what the world has to offer him, making his worldview change from underrating to overrating. His “unsure of the world’s dangers” worldview in the beginning changes to overrating the dangers of the future ahead at the end of the story causing Sammy to change throughout “A & P”.