Although Short, John Updike's "A & P" Is Big on Enjoyment

Topics: Short story, John Updike, John Cheever Pages: 2 (513 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Although Short, John Updike's "A & P" is Big on Enjoyment

I enjoy stories that are long and involved. However, the short story "A & P" by John Updike is a wonderful exception to this rule. Updike writes the story from a viewpoint of what I believe to be a younger, more contemporary person. The story contains many other enjoyable attributes, such as the comments about young girls' flesh. I found the story to be a good read and although I typically don't like stories that are short and uninvolved, I was able to gain a lot of enjoyment from this work.

The story begins with little-to-no foreshadowing and doesn't enlighten the reader until about half way through the piece. All of the sudden, the reader is cast into an "A & P" grocery store in what I would think to be the late 1950's. Although undocumented, the writer gives details that point to this time period. I didn't think I would enjoy the story because it doesn't provide much background information on anything. However, as I began to read the story I was able to create background information of my own which changed my opinion about the story altogether.

I found the work to be enjoyable in other ways as well. I got the impression that the main character was a younger fellow. His comments and actions sounded more immature than mature, so I was able to relate more closely to the work. I found that there were many thought processes that are similar to an adolescent boys, rather than to a more experienced adult. A good example of this can be seen toward the end of paragraph 2 when he gives his interpretation of what happens in a girls mind. He makes a simile to a bee buzzing in a glass jar. A mature person would never make a statement that is so thoughtless. I enjoyed it very much.

I'm able to make a few emotional connections to Sammy, the main character, as well.. In the story, there are many clues that point to him as a girl watcher / admirer. I tend to think that all gentlemen...
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