Greasy Lake vs a&P

Topics: Short story, John Updike, Fiction Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: July 2, 2012
“Greasy Lake” vs. “A&P”
According to the dictionary, setting is defined as “the surroundings and environment of anything,” or “ the locale or period in which the action of a novel, play, film, and etc.”. When writers begin writing their story, they must think about where and when the story will take place. It is important because the setting creates the mood and the world of the story. Although the stories “A&P” by John Updike and “The Greasy Lake” by T.C. Boyle are completely different when it comes to the setting, both of their settings are almost as important as the actual story itself. In the short story “A&P”, it is very important that the reader visualize the setting because it leads to the theme of the story, which is in life one must take major risk in order to be successful. The setting isn't as obvious in “A&P” because you have to read in between the lines, but once you start realizing all the little details, you realize how much Sammy hates his job. This story takes place in a small town grocery store. Since it was a small town, there probably were not a lot of job opportunities out there. Sammy, the main character, was lucky enough to have a job at such a young age. Although he hated everything about his job, his manager, Lengel thought he should have been grateful for the opportunity to work and make money. You can tell Sammy hated his job by the way he described the customers. For example, he described one of the old ladies as “a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows”. When he finally builds up the courage to quit, Lengel questions him trying to convince him that it is going to big make a mistake. Lengel says, “I don't think you know what you’re saying,” and “Sammy, you don't want to do this to your Mom and Dad.” He wanted to quit his job because there was no excitement where he worked, and nothing ever changed. The most exciting thing about his job was when “three girls in nothing but bathing suits” walked in....
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