Similar Teenagers in a&P and Where Have You Been and Where Are You Going

Topics: Short story, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike Pages: 2 (798 words) Published: April 3, 2011
Jimmy Johnson
February 14, 2009
Professor Ducks
Essay 1

“Typical Teenager”

When comparing the two characters in the short stories made me think of a quote, I heard growing up as a kid. “Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath.” Now reading these two stories the truth of that quote rings true. As teenagers we were invisible to life and the consequences of those decisions. I made many mistakes, as teenagers that, I now realize were foolish and not intelligent. Life lessons are tough as Sammy and Collie both discovered.

In the short story of “A&P” Sammy is a hormone driven young teenager who is attracted to three young girls that walk into his store on a slow day in nothing more than a suggestive swim suit. In a hormone obsessed stupor Sammy wants to impress these rebellious teenage girls. As you read the story you see how Sammy becomes enamored with the three young girls in what can be only describe as erotic and stimulating instantly. Sammy describe one of the girls swim suit as the straps “were off her shoulders looped loose around the cool tops of arms, and I guess as a result the suit had slipped a little on her.” (Kennedy 17) This is definition of hormones because any young man is hoping to catch a peek at a naked woman. As a teenager that is what you pray for at night. Sammy became even more turned on when her eyes moved “across the racks, and stopped, and turned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron.” (Kennedy 17) This could be considered Sammy’s first lustful affair from afar. Sammy wants to be noticed by these girls but the moment hasn’t presented itself. Mr. Lengel gives him the perfect opportunity to become their champion. When Mr. Lengel express to the girls how inappropriate their appearance are for a grocery store. Sammy went into a fit of anger to be dramatic from his future suitors. In Sammy’s mind these young beautiful teenagers were making a declaration of loveliness that existed only on...
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