Sociology and Bathing Suits

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April 02, 2013
2. Why are the three girls out of place in the A&P? How do the different persons in the shop react to them?
The three girls are out of place in the A&P because they are wearing bathing suits in a town that is five miles away from a beach. The A&P is located in the center of a small town near two banks, a congregational church, the newspaper store, three real-estate offices, and dozen freeloaders tearing up one of the town streets. Many people in the town have never even been to the beach so it is very uncommon to see people walking around in bathing suits. Most women in the town usually wear shirts and shorts when walking outside. The girls are put extremely out of place when choosing to wear the bathing suits.

The people at the shop reacted differently when viewing the girls in their bathing suits. The most popular reaction the girls got were from guys. Many of the workers and guys kept staring at the girls since they were young, provocative, and in bathing suits. The other type of reaction the girls got were from “sheep” and “houseslaves”. They quickly glanced at the girls and got back to their shopping with shock. They didn’t know if what they saw was real. The girls surprised many of the people at the shop.

3. How does Updike inform us of the difference in social class between the clerk and the girls? What role does this difference play in the events and the meaning of the story?
Throughout the story Updike informs us of the difference in social class between the clerk and the girls. Updike illustrates the girls to be confident, independent as well as sexually powerful. On the other hand Updike illustrates the clerk to be immature, and disrespectful. Sammy is viewed to be stuck in the world of A&P, which is filled with rules and regulations. The girls are viewed to be stuck in a world of freedom and choice. At the end of the story the clerk sees how different the girls and him are in social class. He imagines Queenie with her family...
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