Professor Michael Sellars
June 11, 2012
A&P By: John Updike
In John Updikes’ short story, A&P Sammy's character as described by the narrator, comes off as immature. The way Sammy is very observant and judgmental towards the three girls reveals something much deeper. It seems as if Sammy is very unhappy at his dead end job, he feels stuck. The narrator makes it seem as if Sammy wants something more from life. He obviously doesn't care about his job. He quits to impress the girls, only to be left alone in the end. I think Sammy is trying to prove something to the girls and everyone else around him. It seems he sort of envy’s the girl’s lives, especially ‘Queenie.’ When he stands up for the girls he is searching for some sort of satisfaction, to be held at the same level of the girls. When he stands up for the after they are gone he rushes out to find them gone, and he’s left with the same feeling of emptiness as before. Sammy is like most teenage boys and does before thinking things through. He wasn’t oblivious to the fact that quitting his job would haunt him for the rest of his life, but still he went through with it. This says something about his character, he’s a go getter and wants more from life and he has finally put his foot down and is going to set out on his journey to find what he really wants from life. Although, at the end of the story it says, “Looking back in the big windows, over the bags of peat moss and aluminum lawn furniture stacked on the pavement, I could see Lengel in my place in the slot, checking the sheep through. His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.” He realized that he had gone about things the wrong way. Maybe he will find what he’s really searching for but it will have to be the hard way due to his actions. The girls seem to pay him no mind, which is why...
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