Use Of Setting And Point Of View In John Updike's A & P

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Authors’ use of setting and point of view greatly affect a narrative because they form the readers’ image of the story. First person narration can cause questioning of the narrators reliability, but this bias view can help create more intimacy between the protagonist and the reader. A third person point of view is more objective and allows the author to create the voice of the narrative; the author shapes the story. Through whichever point of view, the author develops a setting. Setting provides tone for the story. A well-established setting can enhance the story’s overall meaning. The combination of setting and point of view in John Updike’s “A&P” helps develop the story’s emphasis on conformity versus nonconformity. Likewise, setting and…show more content…
It is important to realize that Sammy’s 19-year old depiction of his surroundings might be skewed, but the story still maintains Updike’s basic use of this setting. Updike choses the dull setting of an A&P grocery store as a symbol, a microcosmic example of the societies tendency to conform. Also, the readers can easily relate to a grocery store. This A&P resides in a town where “the women generally put on shirt or shorts or something before they get out of their car into the street,” Sammy explains. Seeing a girl walking around wearing only a bikini in such a public place looks outrageous. “If you stand at our front doors you can see two banks and the Congregational church and the newspaper store…” The town is a conventional one. Updike turns this familiar, mundane piece of American life, and makes it extraordinary. William Faulkner writes “A Rose for Emily” in the first person, but this first person narration greatly differs from Updike’s Sammy. The narrator in “A Rose for Emily is unknown throughout the story, but he or she speaks on behalf of the whole town; in a way it creates a cumulative voice. In using a people of the town’s perspective, Updike creates a mysterious, suspenseful tone. When Emily buys rat poison the town’ people can only speculate the reason. “So the next day we all said, 'She will kill herself '; and we said it would be the best thing.” Updike utilizes by Emily Telling the story from this viewpoint limits
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