In his short story "A & P" John Updike utilizes a 19-year-old adolescent to show us how a boy gets one step closer to adulthood. Sammy, an A & P checkout clerk, talks to the reader with blunt first person observations setting the tone of the story from the outset. The setting of the story shows us Sammy's position in life and where he really wants to be. Through the characterization of Sammy, Updike employs a simple heroic gesture to teach us that actions have consequences and we are responsible for our own actions.
Sammy is a 19-year-old boy conveying a cocky but cute male attitude. He describes three girls entering the A & P, setting the tone of the story. "In walk these three girls in nothing but bathing suits. There was this chunky one, with the two piece-it was bright green and the seams on the bra were still sharp and her belly was still pretty pale...there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn't quite frizzed righ...
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- Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P John Updike's A&P provides numerous perspectives for critical interpretation. His descriptive metaphors and underlying sexual tones are just the tip of the iceberg. A gender analysis could be drawn from the initial outline of the story and Sammy's chauvinism towards the female. Further reading opens up a formalist and biographical perspective to the critic. After several readings I began seeing the Marxist perspective on the surreal environment of A&P.... [tags: John Updike A&P Essays]
806 words (2.3 pages)
- I quit. These words can be attached to so many things in life. At times in life things seem to be different then they really are, for instance the thrill and the excitement of having a summer job or even successfully getting a first job. There are certain moments in a person’s life that will always have an impact on them one could call this a definitive moment or an epiphany. In the short story A&P by John Updike the main character Sammy has an epiphany in that he realizes that a moral line has been crossed in his working environment.... [tags: Essays on A&P]
990 words (2.8 pages)
- Interpretation of A&P This Story takes place in 1961, in a small New England town's A&P grocery store. Sammy, the narrator, is introduced as a grocery checker and an observer of the store's patrons. He finds himself fascinated by a particular group of girls. Just in from the beach and still in their bathing suits, they are a stark contrast, to the otherwise plain store interior. As they go about their errands, Sammy observes the reactions, of the other customers, to this trio of young women. He uses the word "Sheep" to describe the store regulars, as they seem to follow one and other, in their actions and reactions. The girls, however, appear to be unique in all aspects of their... [tags: John Updike A&P]
715 words (2 pages)
- John Updike's story "A&P" talks about a 19-year old lad, Sammy, who has a job at the local grocery store, the A&P. Sammy works at the register in the store and is always observing the people who walk in and out each day. On this particular day that the story takes place, Sammy is caught off guard when a cluster of girls walk into the store wearing just their bathing suits. This caught Sammy's attention because the nearest beach is five miles away and he could not figure out why they would still be in their suits.... [tags: John Updike]
1531 words (4.4 pages)
- The first line of the story, “A&P, by John Updike, “In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits”; (230) sets the tone for the rest of the story. The remainder of the story is a description of how the main character Sammy, views not only the three girls in the bathing suits , but the rest of the women that are portrayed in the story. The main character of the story is a young guy, in the early 1960s, who is working at a grocery store when these three young women walk in. He describes how they were scantily clad and walking around the store, and the reactions of the others in the store, including himself, his co-workers, his manager and other patrons.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
734 words (2.1 pages)
- The lives we live today encompass many moral aspects that would not have been socially acceptable fifty or more years ago. John Updike’s short story, A&P, addresses these issues of societal changes through a 1960’s teenager point of view. This teenager, Sammy, spends a great deal of his time working at a local supermarket, observing customers, and imagining where his life adventures will take him. Through symbolism and setting, Updike establishes the characters and conflicts; these, in turn, evolve Sammy from an observational, ignorant teenager, promoting opposition to changing social rules, into an adult who must face reality.... [tags: Literacy Analysis ]
2044 words (5.8 pages)
- William Peden once called John Updike’s “A&P” “deftly narrated nonsense...which contains nothing more significant than a checking clerk's interest in three girls in bathing suits” (Peden). While Peden’s criticism may be harsher than necessary, it is hard to find fault with his analysis. Sammy’s tale offers little more than insight into an egocentric and self-motivated mind, and while Updike may disagree with that conclusion, a close reading of the text offers significant evidence to support this theory.... [tags: Literary Analysis, William Peden]
884 words (2.5 pages)
- Raymond Carver with “Cathedral” and John Updike with “A&P” “Cathedral” and A&P both short stories written during the same century. But even though they both introduce stereotypical characters that somehow change their view of the world, they have many more different aspects. The stories differ in atmosphere and the quantity of people involve in each story. The story “Cathedral” only took place in a family house with only the husband, wife who can be qualified as a static character tried to kill herself in the past, and finally the blind man.... [tags: Stories, Literary Analysis, Comparisons]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- “Liberty is Worth Paying for. . .” Jules Verne Can an individual break hierarchical associations to find freedom and at which point would enlightenment be validated by achieving freedom through conflict. William Faulkner writes in “Barn Burning” about the desire for the individual to tear away from family because of disbelief in values and morals portrayed by a father. Abner becomes powerless with the release of slaves and chooses to transfer his negative desire for power onto his son. Although Sarty breaks the bond of blood between he and his father, he walks away with a greater sense of enlightenment.... [tags: Literature Analysis]
1488 words (4.3 pages)
- The first line of the story, “A&P, by John Updike, “In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits”; (230) sets the tone for the rest of the story. The rest of the story is a description of how the main character Sammy, views not only the three girls in the bathing suits , but the rest of the women that are portrayed in the story. The main character of the story is a young guy, in the early 60s, who is working at a grocery store when these three young ladies walk in. He describes how they were scantily dressed and walking around the store, and the reactions of the others in the store, including himself, his co-workers, his manager and other customers.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
705 words (2 pages)