A & P Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Topics: Short story, John Updike, John Cheever, Family, Character, De tribus puellis / Pages: 3 (644 words) / Published: Feb 27th, 2017
Desires, Decisions, and Defiance
John Updike’s “A&P” accurately depicts the quintessence of adolescent idealism, as the protagonist, Sammy, undergoes the transition from being an obedient adolescent to an independent adult. Sammy, a store clerk, witnesses his boss chastising a group of girls who have walked into the store wearing bikinis. Sammy, believing this treatment to be unjust and embarrassing, quits his job. This impetuous decision leaves Sammy with an ambiguous and foreboding feeling towards his future and what lies in store for him. The relatable reasoning behind Sammy’s choices, as well as the narrating voice, presents a realistic story for its readers.
Sammy quits his job at a local supermarket, A&P, because of the way his boss mistreats a group of girls in bikinis. Sammy, being a naïve and impulsive teenager, defends the girls heroically, resulting in him leaving A&P. Sammy imagines the girls graciously rewarding him for his grandiose gesture in the store. Instead, the girls barely notice his presence and Sammy regresses into a state of isolation and dread. As he sits outside of A&P, he ponders the consequences of a decision and the responsibilities one must assume upon entering adulthood. Simultaneously, Sammy worries that the news of his behavior in A&P will generate an immature image of him around his hometown. His
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Sammy, unsure of what to do next, realizes his actions are going to hurt his parents and that there will be adult consequences. Sammy’s desire for the popular girl, which began merely as a teenage interest in a pretty girl, ends as a desire to escape the prison of A&P and, in turn his own life. “A&P” explores youth, the defiant nature of adolescents, the consequences of decision, and our fantasies and desires for the future, making it an ideal adolescence

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