Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, is a film about a television weatherman named Phil who relives the same day, 2 March, over and over again. A & P is a short story by John Updike in which a cashier, Sammy, has his routine day disrupted when three girls wearing swimming suits stroll into the grocery store where he works and are confronted by the manager. Though their storylines vary greatly, in both works the main character in each is a self-centered, condescending male who eventually realises the flaws in his character. This realisation is, in part, brought out by supernatural forces in Groundhog Day and by a manager's harsh words in A & P. However, in each work, the female protagonist, Rita in Groundhog Day and the character nicknamed 'Queenie' in A & P, acts as a catalyst, inspiring and motivating the main character to change.
At the beginning of each work, the main character is self-centered, unempathetic and condescending. Phil shows this in his treatment of others: his snide remarks to his cameraman (Larry), his mockery of Rita's groundhog impersonation, his rude dismissal of his admittedly obnoxious former schoolmate and his contempt for the small town of Punxsatawney and its citizens. In Groundhog Day , Sammy refers to his customers as "pigs" and "sheep". He calls the elderly "bums" and describes housewives as being "houseslaves". He describes his manager, Lengel as being "dreary" and wonders whether girls even have minds. Both characters seem to look down on everyone around them.
Into the lives of these two self-centered men enter the female protagonists Rita and Queenie, who represent everything t...
... middle of paper ...
...self apart from the pigs and sheep of society.
Without the inspiration from Rita and Queenie, respectively, Phil and Sammy would not have been able to make the realisations that they did. Though Phil and Sammy's interest in them may have been initially motivated by sexual and/or romantic desire, this desire eventually led the men to reconsider their self-centered view of the world. Thus, though the characters of Rita and Queenie are never fully developed, they serve as both the motivation and the inspiration for the change that is central to both works. As the saying goes: "Behind every great man is a great woman."
Groundhog Day, Columbia/Tristar Studios 1993
Updike, John. "A & P." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. 2nd Edition. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: St. Martin's Press, 1990. 407-411.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Comparing Female Sexuality in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women In Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women, Esther and Del try to take control of their sexuality and their sexual lives. These two female protagonists attempt to gain sexual confidence by quietly rejecting the societal images of women. They are able to seduce men and pilot their own sexual lives. These women are also able to ignore the popular beliefs about marriage and motherhood, thus freeing them from the traditional, restrictive female sexual roles.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
2674 words (7.6 pages)
- The ways in which the female and male protagonists are portrayed within a certain telenovela are representative of the gender roles present in that society. In many telenovelas, the traditional female protagonists are naive, innocent, and pure in many ways. While the male protagonists, on the other hand, are very machismo and overflowing with testosterone. In Mexico, the country in which this telenovela was made, women are expected to be amas de la casa (homemakers), caring for the home and the children while men work outside of the home (“Women” 2).... [tags: Gender, Gender role, Woman, Female]
735 words (2.1 pages)
- From mermaids to female Navy officers, the relationship between women and the sea, in both history and literature, has been a complicated one. Mariners traditionally had conflicting superstitions involving a woman’s place on a ship, and this sense of conflict spills over into two Early Modern works of drama—namely Heywood’s Fair Maid of the West and Shakespeare’s Pericles. Bess and Marina, the main female characters of both plays, walk a fine line between captors and masters of the sea, and similarly between the roles of strong heroines who act outside of their gender-roles and hetero-normative females who are mastered by the plays’ respective male characters.... [tags: Fair Maid of the West]
2948 words (8.4 pages)
- Comparing the Women in Fifth Business and The Great Gatsby Behind every great man lies a great women. In some cases the women herself may not always be good or ideal according to society. Nevertheless it seems to add character to the man, and also influences his actions and maybe even his morals. In the novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway's realization of the equality of man altered through his origin sets him up as a morally sound standard, until confronted by Jordan Baker. The "American Dream" will never be a failure if Jordan does not develop Nick into his final character.... [tags: Compariative Compare Contrast]
2006 words (5.7 pages)
- Comparing two similar stories by Washington Irving Many times in our lives we are compared to our siblings. On many occasions, I am compared to my brother. People say that we have the same physique facial features, and height. Although these traits run in the family, I truly only want to be my own person. Just the other day someone called me “Michael.” The burn from my anger showed on my face. “I am NOT Michael,” I screamed; I am my own person. Just as we see similarities in family members, people also see similarities in stories written by the same author.... [tags: Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving]
984 words (2.8 pages)
- They feasted upon it. They thirsted for it. Society looked down on them for it, but these women remained honey mad, remained desperate for salvation in flavor, and craved salvation in indulgence. Considered half-savage and more than a little deranged, they roamed, free to do what so many of the women in "civilized" society longed to do. In Honey Mad Women: Charlotte Bronte's Bilingual Heroines, Patricia Yaeger hypothesizes that "bilingual heroines... are also honey mad women: women who consume, to excess, the languages designed to consume them" (Yaeger 11).... [tags: Comparative Literature]
2407 words (6.9 pages)
- In Faulkner's "That Evening Sun" and Ross's "A Field of Wheat", we see both female protagonists victimized by their environment. In "That Evening Sun", we see Nancy as a victim of the racially discriminatory environment of the South in the early 1900's. In A "Field of Wheat", Martha falls victim to her natural environment and the wrath that nature plays in her life and the life of her family. In each story, the reader feels a sense of despair in both women. I will attempt to show that the environment in which they live contributes to their despair.... [tags: Comparative Literature]
870 words (2.5 pages)
- Lutchmee and Dilloo: A Story of West Indian Life by Edward Jenkins was the first attempt to influence public opinion against the indenture servitude system by making the victims into characters that the reader could empathize with. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys explores the one-dimensional character, Bertha Mason of Bronte’s Jane Eyre. In her version Rhys attempts to develop Antoinette into an individual and portray her not as the Madwoman from the attic, but as a victim of the external forces of a patriarchal society.... [tags: Literature]
1616 words (4.6 pages)
- The desire for freedom is a similar aspect of the female protagonists Louise Mallard, Mathilde Loisel, and Emily Grierson.In Kate Chopin's, "The Story of an Hour," Guy DE Maupassant's, "The Necklace," and William Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily," the female protagonist's have a desire for freedom. The stories are about three women living in patriarchal societies. Each character longs for freedom in a different way, but because of the men in their lives they are unable to make their own life decisions.In "The Story of an Hour," Louise Mallard is a repressed married woman that has a heart condition.... [tags: essays research papers]
779 words (2.2 pages)
- Portrayal of Women in A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler The extent to which Ibsen directly sympathized with feminists is still debated, but this is somewhat irrelevant when considering his portrayal of women. Ibsen had a deep understanding of the nature of women and a strong interest in the manner in which women were treated by society. This resulted in the creation of female protagonists such as Nora Helmer, in A Doll's House, and Hedda Gabler, in a work of the same name. The character traits of each woman are remarkably developed and the portrayal of marital relationships is equally convincing. Ibsen's emphasis on the Victorian husband's attitude towards his wife provides tremend... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1747 words (5 pages)
- Privacy - It's Time to Control the Use of Electronic Surveillance
- The Matrix - Following the Crowd
- State Defined Reality in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
- The Foolish Orgon of Moliere's Tartuffe
- Active Euthanasia, Free Will and Autonomy
- Candide, the Fredrick Douglass Narrative, and The Fisher King as Works in the Picaresque Form