Ehrlich, M 6:30
February 11, 2013
Updike wrote A&P using Sammy as the protagonist and as an example of an unreliable narrator. He did not want the reader to mistake Sammy’s voice and thoughts for his own although he wrote the short story in first person narration. An example of it is that Sammy in the story said “once you begin a gesture, its fatal not to go through with it.” This is not Updike talking personally, this is what Sammy feels is right. Sammy is descriptive and observes everyone in the A&P. He described the three different girls by the color and patterns of their bathing suits to their tan lines and bathing suit straps. In this story Sammy also reflects Campbell’s work. A&P starts out with the exposition, by the reader meeting Sammy, the protagonist. Sammy sees the three girls and is curious about them and tends to watch them the whole time they’re at the store. He gives them nicknames like “Queenie” which is one of them to the leader of the three girls. The three girls are wearing nothing but bathing suits which is rather odd to the employees and customers because the beach is 5 miles down and A&P is in the middle of town. Next as a conflict, Lengel, the manager, sees the three girls and wants them to leave and strictly says “this is not the beach”. The girls argue back and say that they only came in for one item that “Queenie’s” mother had asked them to get. Sammy doesn’t like the way Lengel got mad at the girls and decides to quit to prove a point. That could be known as the climax of the story. Lengel is good friends with the 19 year olds parents and is shocked. Sammy wanted the three girls to hear him quit so he could seem to them as an “unsuspected hero” but they kept walking and when he was actually outside of the store they were nowhere to be found. That could be seen as the resolution. He didn’t quite do what he intended to do but that is how the story ends. Lengel could be...
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