In a modern society where good deeds and integrity are taken for granted, it is necessary for people to stand up for what is right. The short story “A & P”, written by John Updike, tells the story of Sammy and how he takes a stand for what he believes is right, only he is not given the gratitude he deserved. “Everyday Use”, written by Alice Walker, is another short story that shows how substantial it is to stand firm for one’s convictions and beliefs, especially in familial matters. Mama, the protagonist in “Everyday Use”, must make the decision of protecting her self-conscious daughter Maggie, or giving in to Dee, her other egocentric daughter who has forgotten the traditional values of their family. These two short stories indicate the importance of protecting people from the harshness of reality because not everyone is secure or aware enough to be able to stand up for themselves.
Although one’s good deeds may often not be acknowledged, the inevitable lesson of maturity can be taught through such experiences. In “A&P”, Sammy is a teenage clerk who is not acknowledged for accomplishing what he thinks is a good deed. During a hot day, three teenage girls walks into the A&P grocery store, wearing only their bathing suits. The image of the girl’s revealing attire provides an absolute contrast to both the simple interior of the store and also of the other conservative customers. Sammy describes the customers as “sheeps” because they look mindless as they follow each other around the aisles in continual, constant motion. However, these three girls conflict with the imagery of “sheeps” by breaking the norms of what the A&P grocery store, and society in general, has proclaimed as acceptable. These three girls symbolize the reverse of what Sammy has been accustomed to seeing in the store, which are the pedestrian and conformed customers. Infrequency rather than frequency triggers the events that occur in the A&P... [continues]
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