John Updike a&P Analysis

Topics: "I Quit" match, Decision making, Decision theory Pages: 4 (1515 words) Published: March 24, 2011
Patrick Hanks

In John Updikes A&P, choices and consequences are portrayed as a fundamental and recurring theme throughout the story. Many can understand the idea of repercussions for specific decisions and actions, which makes this story very relatable to most audiences. The story encompasses numerous ideologies paramount to human development and philosophy. Dismantling the story can help depict underlain meanings and asses the ambiguous nature of humanity. The construct of A&P portrays Sammy’s journey through the societal establishment of rules and order, ultimately exposing the chain reaction repercussion of making difficult choices. Though many characters make choices throughout the story, Sammy is obliged to make the most difficult and painful choice. Sammy’s decision to quit the A&P is dictated ultimately by the motivation of external recognition from the three girls in question. This analysis will disassemble data points throughout the story to identify and assess the setting, conflict, and driving attributes of Sammy’s decision, assembling a baseline explanation about the nature of Sammy’s values and beliefs in relation to his external motivation for quitting.

The setting Sammy finds himself in on this particular day contrasts the per usual normalcy at the A&P. His beginning description defines the uniqueness of the occasion “In walks these three girls in nothing but bathing suits” (187). Sammy’s intricate and itemized description of the three girls gives us the first insight into his mindset, and the irony of the artificial environment converse to the natural state of the girl’s attire. At this point, Sammy has directed much attention toward the girls. His focus on the girls sets the stage for itemizing his priorities “I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not” (187). His ever-glazed and intricate attention toward the girls births assessments and descriptions itemizing...
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