John Updike a&P

Topics: John Updike, Critical thinking, Thought Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: December 14, 2012
An Uncontrollable Desire Leads to Consequences
In John Updike’s “A&P”, Sammy is a young cashier who is suddenly captivate by three girls who walk into the store wearing nothing but bathing suits. As soon as the girls walk in the A&P they attract a level of desire from every man in the store. Displaying the power their sexuality gives them over the opposite sex, Sammy is quickly amazed and spaces out from what he is doing. As you know at the end of the story Sammy makes the decision of quitting his job when Lengel gives the girls a hard time while they’re checking out. I think that if those girls hadn’t walk through that door on that Thursday, Sammy would had still had his job on Friday. The reason why I believe this is because as soon as Sammy saw the girls, he completely forgot about doing his job; he could only focus on the girls; looking at what they were wearing and their appearance. His desire for Queenie grows bigger as he analyses her more and more, which at the end of the story proves to lead to serious consequences for Sammy, now if those girls opted to not show up that day and also show up the way they did, it would had not change Sammy’s attitude because the attraction to the girls gave Sammy power that he did not have before in a sense that he wanted the girls to notice him and he would do anything to make that happen.

During the story Sammy proves to be a great observant and good at learning quickly about the character that he is observing. This characteristic about Sammy is displayed at the beginning of the story when he described the old lady as a witch straight out of Salem and wonders “I know it made her day to trip me up.” Sammy believes that all the customers that come to the A&P are easy to understand, he even thinks he has figure out Stokesie and Lengel with who he works with. When he sees the girls walk in he wonders what these girls are really thinking about entering a store with no proper clothes on and causing a scene...
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