Response to a&P

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In John Updike’s short story “A & P,” he uses a creative writing style to demonstrate the series of events that a young teenage boy working at a small grocery store experiences between wants and consequences. Updike’s story "A&P” has several themes and symbols that add to his style of writing. The main theme is the power of desire of the men in the grocery store. The characterization enhances the reader’s ability to picture the characters throughout the story. The short story setting takes place in 1961 at a local grocery store named A & P. It was located in a small town north of Boston on Central Street, five miles from the beach which is noteworthy to the story. Consequently, Updike is able to convert his setting and plot into a story with a significant lesson. The point of view is told in the first person by the main character, Sammy, who is the grocery store cashier. In the story, Sammy explains what led up to his decision of quitting his job. Updike goes into great depth describing Sammy’s thoughts. For example, Sammy references the customers as “sheep pushing their carts down the aisle” (Updike 541). Sammy is an eighteen year old boy working at a local grocery store who finds himself making a rash decision in the heat of the moment. Throughout the story, Sammy explains his thoughts about the types of people he encounters at his job. Updike goes into great detail presenting Sammy’s point of view which enriches the story for the reader. The author conveys the plot of the story through his character, Sammy. It is that adolescents often act impulsively and that growth comes from accepting the consequences. In the story, the manager chastises three girls who come into the store only wearing swimsuits with bare feet. Sammy disagrees with his boss and feels that he embarrassed the girls by telling them that they can’t shop in his store unless their shoulders are covered. “It’s our policy” (Updike 543). Following this incident, Sammy hastily tells his...
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