Critical Analysis of A&P and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Topics: Sociology, Short story, The Lone Ranger Pages: 3 (1677 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Jesse BurnsProfessor, WolfeEnglish 102Essay 220 October 2014 The Great Atlantic & Pacific Trading Company
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven written by Sherman Alexie and A&P written by John Updike are stories that represent the social constraint’s felt by each of the protagonists. Alexie’s story and Updike’s story complement each other in their context and have a very similar theme. Alexie’s story is about a young man who is held down by the racial indifferences he has encountered throughout his life. In turn, these indifferences have caused distrust and a subtle hatred towards whites and authority figures. Victor, the protagonist of the story, makes references to the indifferences felt through the allusion and symbolism in the story. The representation of the symbolism and the interpretation used shows that Sherman himself is using his writing as a means to come to terms with these deep-rooted feelings. In Updike’s story, the tone is not as dark and dismal as Alexie’s, though there is a similarity in the context. A&P represents a young man who is tired of being oppressed by the mundane routines of life. The protagonist in this story sees his life passing him by as he works at a grocery market. The epiphany is realized and comes to light when three young women come into the store wearing nothing but bathing suits. The symbolism and allusion the writer uses in this story also signifies the repressed emotions of feeling trapped by the pressures that society has placed on him. Both stories connect on a thematic level which is the feeling of being held back by social constraints. However, these stories side by side each delivers different messages to the reader, and the allegory message of each story differs. The theme of A&P is cultivated and developed throughout the story. Updike’s use of allusive symbols helps deliver his message. The story may seem as a pivotal work of fiction and at first glance can appear to be straight forward....

Bibliography: Alexie, Sherman. "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." Gardner, Lawn, Ridl, Schakel. Literature (A Portable Anthology). Boston: Bedford St.Martins, 2013. 402-407. Print.
James, Kevin. "Social structure and the effects of conformity." Zollman, Kevin James and Spears. Synthese. Dordrecht: Springer Science & Business Media, 2010. 317-340. Print. <http://ezproxy.canyons.edu:2048/login?url=http://ezproxy.canyons.edu:2125/docview/807427937?accountid=38295>.
Updike, John. "A&P." Gardner, Lawn, Ridl, Schakel. Literature (A Portable Anthology). Boston: Bedford St.Martins, 2013. 294-299. Print.
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