John Updike a&P "Realist vs. Opportunist"

Topics: John Updike, EBSCO Publishing, EBSCO Industries Pages: 3 (1310 words) Published: March 22, 2011
Realist vs. Opportunist
Life is filled with opportunities; some are life changing however most are not. An individual faces opportunities everyday of their life actually, but what makes them decide whether to follow through with it or simply keep going about the life they have? That is the difference between an opportunist and a realist. Realist defined as: one who is inclined to literal truth and pragmatism ( Opportunist being the opposite of that as someone who is inclined to take advantage of opportunities with no regard towards consequences. In John Updike’s “A & P” Sammy the main character is greatly different from his co-worker Stoskie, how do these characters compare to one another as well as why is Sammy an opportunist while Stoskie is a realist? Sammy is an opportunist because he loves the thrill in his life, while Stoskie settles for being a realist because he likes repetition, although both characters are very different they are also similar in seeking comfort. Stoskie the self proclaimed future manager for the A & P grocery store is a 22 year old male that is the realist in John Updike’s story. Stoskie is very content with the life he has, his life consists of his wife, two kids and the position he holds working at the grocery store. Stoskie has his life set and settled at a very young 22 years old. Why is Stoskie a realist though and already have his life planned out, it is because he likes repetition. The feeling of waking up every day and knowing exactly what he is going to be doing each day is satisfying to him. Henry Wai-chung Yeung says “critical realism is a method,” he further states that through different form of research it can be shown that repetitive actions are the sign of true realist because it is what they are comfortable with. Stoskie feels comfortable working at the A & P, because he performs the same duties over and over again. In the story Sammy explains being a cashier as, “after you do it enough, it...

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