Short Story a&P

Topics: John Updike, Short story, "I Quit" match Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: September 6, 2010
This is and essay of the short story A&P

ENGL 1102 – summer 8:00am
29 July, 2009
First Step of Maturity
Everybody makes hard decisions through life that mature them. In John Updike’s short story “A&P” Sammy, a nineteen-year-old clerk working the checkout line at the A&P grocery store, decides to quit his job because he stands out for his decision and fallows it thought. The story focuses on the observation, through Sammy’s point of view, of three girls that come to the store wearing bathing suits, and the reaction of the people for the commotion the girls cause. These bathing suits reveal not only the girls’ flesh, but also Sammy’s personal character. Sammy is a good observer but careless at his job; however, at the end of the story he faces the first step of maturity. Sammy demonstrates through his words that he is an excellent observer. When Sammy observes and says, “There was this chunky one, with the two piece – it was bright green and the seams on the bra well still sharp and her belly was still pretty pale so I guessed she just got it” (753) it is clear that he works hard to perceive every single details of the girls. Sammy spends time describing the others two girls detailed, and every single movement they make around the store. Then he describes the people’s reactions cause by the girls’ commotion. Sammy’s observational skill gives a better image to the reader of the story. His observable behavior tells his desire to understand the facts about the world around him. Moreover, the way he observers and talk about the girls give clues of his transitions from a teenage to an adult. When Sammy says, “ –bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down.” (753) “She turned so slow it made my stomach rub” (754) it demonstrates that he does not have much experience dealing girls. He gets very excited for little things that for a grown man may not affect as much as it does to Sammy. Although Sammy is good at...

Cited: Updike, John. “A & P.” Literature: An Introduction to
Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds.. X.J Bedford and Michael Meyer . 8th ed.
Boston, 2007. 753—757.
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