Character Analysis of Sammy in a&P

Topics: Observation, "I Quit" match, Martin Amis Pages: 3 (927 words) Published: June 26, 2012
In the story "A&P" written by John Updike, Sammy, the main character and narrator, changes from an immature teenager to a person that takes a stand for what he believes is wrong, which is reflected in Sammy's words and actions. This story can be broken and viewed into three different parts. The first part is where the reader sees how immature Sammy behaves, the second concentrates on Sammy's maturing process and the last focuses on his decision to take a stand no matter what the consequences may be. This story represents a coming-of-age for Sammy. Though it takes place over the period of a few minutes, it represents a much larger aspect of the maturity process. From the time the girls enter the grocery store, to the moment they leave, one can see changes in Sammy’s personality as well as his thought process.

The beginning of the story is about just a normal day at the grocery store. Sammy is a nineteen year old store clerk and it is obvious that he does not like his job and only works there to pacify his parents because they are good friends with the manager. Soon, however, the entrance of the three girls in swimsuits quickly breaks the monotony. Through Sammy’s thoughts and actions as events take place, one can conclude that Sammy is disrespectful, judgmental, and possesses an overall lack of responsibility. Being a typical teenager, Sammy does not hold very much respect for adults at all. This is first evident in how he refers to the woman who’s items he rang up wrong as “witch about fifty” and also by how he says that “if she’d been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem”. Sammy also shows disrespect toward the adult in the gray pants by saying, “what do these bums do with all that pineapple juice?” A trait that is shown throughout the story is Sammy’s impeccable observation skills. He notices everything around him, and he drinks in every detail of the girls’ physical appearance, from the texture and patterns of their bathing...
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