Analysis Of John Updike's A & P

Good Essays
In John Updikes’ A&P, a 19 year old man named Sammy was working as a cashier for the store. Three girls, wearing only bathing suits, walked into the store. He was so captivated by the girls once he noticed them. Distracted by their beauty, he started describing them, detail by detail. The question asked was whether Sammy’s act of quitting was selfish or was it a sacrifice and if he cared about the girls’ dignity. The evidence provided in the upcoming paragraphs show that it was a selfish act and he did not care for their dignity. The gesture was selfish because he was just absorbed by their looks and the details of what they looked like, he did not think about the store policy, and the final paragraph shows his regret when he walked outside…show more content…
Realizing the girls were gone and his so called heroic gesture was done for nothing; he stared back into the store. Staring back, he saw Lengel take his place at the cash register. Lengels face became dark and his back stiffened; Sammy compared it to looking at someone that got injected with iron. After quitting, he has a lot of regret because it dawned on him, in the last sentence. 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. The only thing the narrator leaves is for one to foreshadow, which leads up to the question of whether it was a selfish act to quit, or a sacrifice. It was a selfish act that will make his life difficult after the story ends. Another question was if Sammy cared about the girls’ dignity? The answer is no because he had regret afterward, when the girls vanished. The author, John Updike, believes it was a sacrifice because he states, “he sees him [Sammy] as a typical, well intentioned…show more content…
He showed that the girls distracted him from his job, disregarded store policy of A&P, and in the end he showed regret which can be questioned. Sammy was describing, specifically, about the girl’s body parts and bathing suits, which causes mistakes in while working and making people unsatisfied. He was admiring the girls so much he ignored store policy and was believing Lengel having a Sunday teacher moment. In the end, he was looking back in the window feeling sympathy for leaving, Lengel taking his place. He only cared about the girls because of their beauty, not because of their
Get Access