Morality from Different Perspectives in a&P by John Updike

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What does it take to behave morally and ethically? Do all people know what morality is and how it can be measured? Certainly, every single person has his or her own set of moral ideas and concepts of right and wrong. Consequently, various people may understand morality differently. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, morality is conformity to ideals of right human conduct. [1] In this research paper I would like to prove that morality can be seen differently for a different person under the same circumstances. I have based my research on a story "A&P" written by John Updike. Though “A&P” is a short story, it definitely has a very deep message. Personally, I believe that John Updike’s writing speaks about moral concepts and decency. Christian writer C.S. Lewis has said, “If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality.” [2] Certainly, I believe that it is very important to have moral values and ethical norms to follow. Taking into consideration the fact that “A&P” was written in the 1960’s, we may think that American morality has changed a lot since that time. However, to my mind no matter how much time passes, some moral values remain unchanged. In the beginning of my research paper I would like to give you a brief summary of “A&P”. This short story has been published in The New Yorker magazine in 1961. The setting of a story is a chain supermarket “A&P” in a small conservative New England town north of Boston. It was an ordinary quiet summer day when three teenage girls wearing only their bathing suits walk into A&P supermarket to do some shopping. Sammy, the protagonist, a young man who works at the checkout line, observes their every movement. He watches them really carefully paying a lot of attention to every single detail, judging about their personalities and family lives. Sammy especially likes the most attractive girl in the group, who seems to be the leader....
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