A & P- a Coming of Age Story

Topics: The Reader, Experience, Thought Pages: 3 (1090 words) Published: June 25, 2012

A certain maturity, understanding and acceptance usually develop in people as they age and learn through life experiences. Depending on those life experiences, an individual can progress far in their understanding and acceptances or be held in stagnate and prejudiced position. In the story “A&P” by John Updike, the reader is taken through a mundane shopping experience seen through the eyes of a teenager boy named Sammy. By using specific symbols and this particular point of view, the reader is able to see Sammy developing life experience through observing the shopping girls in comparison to how the older characters in the story such as Sammy’s boss react to the same customers. Not all readers would have the understanding of a male teenager’s point of view. Those who would have the knowledge of a male mind still may not recall how it feels to observe situations as a teenager would. Rather than giving the reader the views from every character, we are strictly held to how Sammy is observing each situation which then allows the reader to feel and think more like a male teenager would. Or at the very least understand it better. The descriptions the main character uses make his thoughts and conclusion to the story even more believable. “There was this chunky one, with the two-piece—it was bright green and the seams on the bra were sill sharp and her belly was still pretty pale so I guessed she just got it (the suit)—there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces, the lips all bunched together under her nose, this one, and a tall one, with black hair that hadn’t quite frizzed right, and one of these sunburns right across under the eyes, and a chin that was too long—you know, the kind of girl other girls think is very “striking” and “attractive” but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they like her so much—and then the third one, that wasn’t quite so tall” (Clugston, 2010.Ch. 8 pg.73). Sammy has had to deal with many...
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