October 28, 2012
In the Cult of True Womanhood, women are supposed to follow the four cardinal virtues: piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity (Welter). With these four cardinal virtues men had a better understanding on the way women were supposed to behave. In A&P there are three girls that walk into the store. Sammy is immediately captivated by the girls. He gives each one a name, he names them Chunky, Queenie and Plaid. Sammy is head over heels for Queenie she is the prettiest one out of the three. He describes her with having two scoops of vanilla and her bathing suit straps hanging off her pale shoulders. Lengel see how Sammy reacts to seeing the girls and he doesn’t stand for hit. Sammy is so captivated by these girls that he rings up a costumer’s item twice, from not paying attention. The girls walk up to Sammy’s register and Lengel steps in and begins to scold the girls. Lengel tells the girls they must be decently dressed when they come into the store. He tells them that their shoulders must be covered, and that their bathing suits in unacceptable to wear in the store. The girls broke all the rules of the 1960’s when they walked into the store like that. They did not follow the four cardinal virtues of the Cult of True Womanhood. That’s when Lengel had to put his foot down and step up as the male figure and the government and lay down the policies for the girls. He put them back in their place as women when he scolded them. The girls tried to argue their piece a little bit before being shut down again. In addition, Updike expresses his ideas about how women relate to the theme of Passiveness vs. Aggressiveness. The time period that A&P takes place is the 1960’s and women did what they were told without talking back. Women submitted to men. In modern day, a women would be damned if a man told her what to wear. In the 21st century women play a more aggressive role. For example women are...
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