Instructor Natalie Hill
Eng 113 Section 801
22 January 2013
The theme of the story “A&P” is “always weigh your consequences before taking actions”. The formal aspects used by the author to develop the story were symbolism, point of view, and setting. A&P written by John Updike first published in 1961 is about, the narrator, Sammy who is checking groceries when he realizes that three barefoot girls in bathing suits have walked into the store. The leader of the three, who has her bathing suit straps down, catches his eye. She walks like a queen (of which he nicknames “Queenie”) through the store, never turning to look at him or his coworker, Stokesie. Queenie leads them around the store. The narrator has fun watching the shock of the other customers, who aren't used to seeing bathing suits at the A&P. Queenie is buying a jar of "Kingfish Fancy Herring Snacks in Pure Sour Cream: 49 cent" (21). She gets in Sammy’s checkout lane “with a prim look she lifts a folded dollar bill that she takes from her bathing suit out of the hollow at the center of her nubbled pink top” (21). Then Lengel, the manager of the A&P, comes in from outside, sees the girls, and tell them that were not properly dressed and that they should be decently dressed when they come into the store. Queenie tries to argue with him, but he tells them they better dress right next time or not come again. Lengel hurries Sammy, to ring the girls up. Sammy does what he's told, but then he tells Lengel he's quitting. The girls probably hear him, but they don't turn around. Lengel warns Sammy that quitting will ruin his life, but Sammy turns in his apron and bow tie and saunters to the outside which he calls the “electric eye” (23) out into the parking lot. He was hoping to find the girls, but they were long gone. Sammy looked back in the window and watches Lengel checking groceries in his lane. Lengel looks hard and stiff, to Sammy which made Sammy feel that the...
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