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Setting In John Updike's A & P

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Setting In John Updike's A & P
The setting helps contribute to the insight, knowledge and understanding to the meaning of many stories. In the short story “A & P” by John Updike, the setting helps bring to life the conformity and dehumanization in an everyday life. It shows that breaking the norm of society is unacceptable.
The setting plays a large part to the understanding of why the “three girls” in “bathing suits” are so criticized and judged. The main character Sammy, a cashier worker, sees the three girls walk into the A and P wearing “nothing but bathing suits” and instantly takes a sudden interest and starts checking out the girls. The reason Sammy and others take sudden interest in the girls is because they are not dressed for the place, the social environment,
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This made them seem even more obscure. The normal social environment of the store in this quaint town is “women with six children and varicose veins mapping their legs” (2). Also,“A few house slaves in pin curlers” who saw the girls did a double take and had to check again to see if what the saw was correct. The girls drew a lot of attention to themselves because these people are so used to everything being the same and conformed. This is another reason why these girls looked like a circus act walking into the A & P. Since they really did not fit in with how the store worked or how it looked, they were dehumanized. An example is while the girls were going through the aisles the “sheep” pushed their carts down the way they always do and the girls walked against the “usual traffic”. This goes to show the girls were going against or rebelling against the normal society just like they did wearing swimming suits instead of more appropriate clothes. All these actions really brought attention to them and made them the main event at the store. Their actions was very disapproved because this grocery store represents conformity. They call the lady’s “sheep” because sheep are herd animals and are all the same; they are dehumanized into animals with no individuality. So when these three girls come in with an individuality and personality no one likes it because they are not the

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