Comparing and Contrasting Sammy and Tommy's Struggle Against Rules, Authority Figures. and Inflexible Soial Systems in "A&P" and "Gryphon" Respectively

Topics: Authority, Teacher, English-language films Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: September 12, 2007
In both "A&P" and the "Gryphon," the main characters exhibit traits that makethem distinctive of each other in the way they struggle against rules, authority figures, andinflexible social systems. Sammy, in "A&P" shows how embarrassing it is to confrontcustomers in public when they flout company policy, whiles Tommy in "Gryphon"prevails upon his classmates to be loyal to authority figures by projecting the good imageof their substitute teacher.

Sammy's struggle against rules is seen in the way he viewed the company's policyin regard to the type of clothes the three girls namely; "Queenie", "Plaid" and "Big Tall"wore to the store. To him confronting a customer, and for that matter the three girls, whoflout the store's policy, amounts to embarrassing the customer and the three girlsRespectively. "You didn't have to embarrass them" (132) . He thinks it is inappropriate forhis boss to confront the three girls shopping wearing a swimming costume. In the processof registering his disapproval against this policy, he ends up disobeying an authorityfigure in the person of his boss. He shows his disapproval to this policy by giving up hisjob. "I quit"(132). On the part of Tommy, he did not displayed his struggle against ruleswith an open defiance as is the case of Sammy. When the substitute teacher ordered him together with his two friends to take up their seat, he nor any of his friends put up aresistance. Even though they stared at her, but they obeyed her command by taking uptheir seat and not giving up or "quitting" on their education.

In addition to the above Tommy did not struggle against authority figure, he israther seen as a person who prevails upon his classmates to be loyal to an authority figure.

He demonstrates this when he openly confronts and engages his classmate in a fight forreporting their substitute teacher to the school's Principal (151). Tommy also tries todisabuse his friend Carl from thinking that the substitute teacher was telling lies...

Cited: pdike, John "A&P". Portable Literature:Reading, Reacting, Writing. 6th ed. Ed. LaurieG. Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Boston: Thomson, 2007. 128-133.
Baxter, Charles "Gryphon" Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 6th ed. Ed.
Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Boston: Thomson, 2007. 139-152.
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