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Symbolism In John Updike's A & P

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“A&P” is a short story by John Updike about a nineteen-year-old male named Sammy. Sammy lives in a small town five miles from the beach and works at a grocery store called A&P. Throughout the story Sammy reveals signs of agitation at his job. Things begin to change as he gazed his eyes on three girls that walk into the store. The A&P and the girls are important symbols in “A&P” that help reveal the conflict in the story. The A&P represents an entrapment that Sammy finds himself in the story. He feels trapped as he watches customers mindlessly shop unaware of the outside world. He symbolizes the costumers as sheep and how they follow the crowd with out question. Sammy also says that, if dynamite was to be set off, people would still continue to shop and mark items off their list. This confinement sets the tone of Sammy wanting to escape and step outside into the world of freedom.…show more content…
These three girls were wearing bathing suites that caught the attention of everyone in the store. In this small town such apparel is unacceptable to the residents. Sammy observes their bathing suites, their hair, and their bodies as they walk through the store. He becomes lustful of the leader of the girls and gives her the nickname “Queenie”. Sammy goes into detail feeling faint describing her breast like two smooth scoops of vanilla. The girls flow through the store going against the normal traffic to get a jar of herring snacks. Queenie leading the way arrives at Sammy’s register to check
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