Coupy In A & P, By John Updike

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Outline for Essay #1
In the short story A & P, by John Updike the narrator/main character Sammy is working at an A & P store until one day three bathing suit clad girls enter the stone and charge his boring mundane life. Sammy is so taking by them he quits his job. It may appear as if Sammy quit his job out of the pure goodness of his heart by defending the girls from the “stingy” A & P manager Lengel, and to escape his middle class existence. Sammy may have had deeper subconscious reasons for quitting the A & P, but even so that does not deny that at the core of his actions he was only looking to fill his inner desire of lust and self-interest while using distasteful, disrespectful, and sexist words towards the three girls, or as he calls them, Plaid, Big Tall Goony, and Queenie.
The first girl that really catches Sammy’s attention is the girl he calls Plaid. He is so distracted by her that he almost describes her three times. Each time, throughout his narration, he uses distasteful words to describe her physical appearance. He uses such words as “chunky”, “chubby”, and “fat” (Updike 32-33). Those are all highly offensive when said about someone, even if you are just thinking them. The most distasteful and
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Sammy mentions what is wrong with her and then moves on. He does not think she is attractive, so therefor she is not worth his time. The only part that really sticks out about her is after Sammy quits and he says, “Big Tall Goony-Goony (not that as raw material she was so bad)” (36). Goony is just another word for stupid. Raw material is the basics, so without anything to judge except for her physical appearance, he is basically calling her big, tall and stupid. How could you not see that as being rude and disrespectful? She has done nothing to be treated as a worthless goon. He soon forgets all about her, however, when he discovers a “queen” to look
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