A & P “A&P” written by John Updike is a short story about a young boy named Sammy. He was 19 years old and he was working at A&P mini market. One day, there were three girls shopping at the store wearing bikinis, and Sammy was surprised yet adore these three girls, until one day he quitted his job because he wanted to be their hero, but unfortunately, the girls didn’t even see him. John Updike was trying to describe Sammy as a typical youth who is trying to get some attention. At the beginning of the story, Updike didn’t really describe Sammy.
Otherwise, he described more of the girls whom Sammy was looking at. But, along his writing, readers could conclude about Sammy’s physical look. Another thing is that Sammy had his job as a cash register in A&P store, and from the way Updike had written, readers could conclude that Sammy doesn’t really like his job. He calls one of his customers a "witch" and says the other customers are "houseslaves" and "sheep. " But what makes him more hate his job is the cash-register-watcher: “She gives me a little snort in passing, if she’d been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem” (303).
This shows how much Sammy hates her. In addition, Sammy is sexist. He gives long, loving descriptions of the girls who cause all the trouble. 1 Moreover, Sammy does experience growth through the course of the story. In fact, Updike clearly described it, as when Sammy decided to quit his job: “So I say “I Quit” to Lengel quick enough for them to hear” (308). The reader won’t expect this to be happened, but Sammy made a shocking decision by quitting his job just for the girls he’d just knew.
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But maybe, the reason was not just because of the girls, but also because he had enough of Lengel, and he felt he had enough for all the things he never wanted to but, but he had to. Yes, Sammy was doing his job because his parents were the friends of the store manager, Lengel: “He’s been a friend of my parents for years” (309). He learned about life, and prepared for the rough road that lies ahead. The most important part of Updike’s story is when Sammy quitted his job. Even Sammy finally knew that the girls were not heard what he said, but he continue to do what he had spilled.
Updike is trying to insert some moral value here through Sammy. When Sammy said: “But it seems to me that once you begin a gesture it is fatal not to go through with it” (309). In addition, by this event, Updike is also wants to reveal that these days, boys will do anything for the girls they like, just like Sammy. Moreover, Sammy knew that when he made that decision, everything will be much harder for him: “And my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” (310). But he realizes that he had done the right thing and what was done had to be done.
Moreover, Sammy also indicated that he didn't want to end up like Stokesie, who was married with two kids, and will probably work in the store for the rest of his life in order to support his family. Stokesie suggests what Sammy 2 might become if he were to continue to work at the A;P. For this, Sammy is adapted to a change in his life by resigning as a cashier at A ; P. Towards the end of the story when he announces that he is quitting, he goes on to say: "a couple customers that had been heading for my slot begin to knock against each other, like scared pigs in a chute" (309).
Readers may have sympathetic feelings of Sammy, because he dare to take actions even that he knew that everything will be much harder for him. It never even crossed his mind that he would quit his job because of girls. In the other hand, readers may not realize that Sammy would go far beyond. But what he had done was realistic, because people always do something that they realize will ruin their life ahead, in other words, people sometimes do craps in their life.
Thus, Sammy, the first person narrator, plays an essential role in portraying an in depth viewpoint of the story. His portrayal of a typical teen working in a dead-end job, his thoughts and feelings are very obvious in the story "A & P. " He develop through out the story, he did some outstanding decision that the reader would not expect. 3 Work Cited Updike, John. “A;P”. A Pocketful of Prose: Vintage Short Fiction Volume 1. Madden, David. Boston: Thomson Higher Education, 2006. 4
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