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First Person Characterism In John Updike's A & P

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The first person narrator of John Updike’s “A&P” is a teenage boy working as a cashier who quits his job after his manager confronts three female customers about their inappropriate attire. This point of view gives readers a better understanding of the protagonist, Sammy. His precise descriptions of the girls’ physical appearance suggests that Sammy is an observant and always aware of his surroundings. Sammy’s point of view presents his natural attraction towards the opposite sex when he sees a group of girls walking into the grocery store wearing bikinis. This first-person narration conveys the protagonist’s thoughts and explains why Sammy quits his job at the end of the story; his character and point of view reinforce Updike’s central idea…show more content…
However, readers might know less about Sammy if Updike’s “A&P” were narrated by the character Queenies; instead if she were its first person narrator, Updike’s central idea would be about girls overusing their appearances to draw people’s attention, however, this does not succeed every time. Through Queenie’s point of view rather than Sammy’s, Updike’s readers would not know that the grocery is nowhere close to the beach. All the readers will get from the reading is that Queenie’s mom asks her to go buy some snacks on her way to the beach. Knowing more about Queenie’s family background would persuade readers to believe that the manager of the store is overreacting when he confronts and embarrassing the girls at the check-out counter. While working at “A&P” Sammy notices three young girls around his age walking bare feet into the store wearing two-piece swimsuits. He observes them carefully as they shop. With the detailed descriptive narration of the girl’s clothes and their appearance, readers are able to tell that Sammy is interesting in the girls and he cannot keeping his eyes off them. If this story is narrated by Queenie, to the readers, Sammy is an immature teenager who is acting
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