Critical Analysis Of A & P By John Updike

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Critical Analysis of Short Story “A &P” In the short story “A & P” by John Updike, the main character Sammy shows a sense of growth from the story’s opening to its conclusion. This certain change in him started taking place after the visit from the three girls, where he starts to ponder the future of his life. Sammy develops as a more prominent character both by the voice and the mood of the story, suggesting his vast change from rather flat to someone with more personal features and attributes. In the beginning of the story, Sammy observes the girls after they first walk in and make their first round through the store while they shop. Sammy catches a glimpse of the one of the girls who he seems fond of. Sammy goes on to describe her to the…show more content…
The Sammy opens the first paragraph after the break in the story by saying, “Now here comes the sad part of the story, at least my family says it’s sad, but I don’t think it’s so sad myself.” (Updike, 150). He then goes on to say things such as, “Then everybody’s luck begins to run out” (Updike, 151). These quotes from the text lead up to the confrontation between Mr. Lengel and the girls. They stress the idea that there is tension leading up to that point and suggest to the reader that the relaxation and friendliness in the store from the beginning have now shifted into tension and hostility. This shows the reader that Sammy is still human, and that his emotions can be affected by things around him. Following Sammy’s resignition from his position at A & P, the story takes yet another turn in mood. Immediately after he walks out of the store, he says, “I look around for my girls, but they’re gone, of course” (Updike, 152). Then, sometime after that, he is walking passed the store and says, “… my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” (Updike, 153). This leaves the reader in a new state because Sammy is seemingly admitted to feeling remorse and the effect of this makes the reader feel sorrow and

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