Story A & P

Topics: Boy, Grocery store, Quitting Pages: 2 (826 words) Published: December 17, 2013
In the story “A & P”, written by John Updike, three teenage girls only wearing their bathing suits, walk into an A & P grocery store in a small town nowhere near the beach. Sammy a young man working the checkout line watches them closely. He notices details about them and the way they carry themselves, he also gives them names based on his observations. For example he names the leader “Queenie”. As the girls are checking out the store manager Lengel brings to their attention that they cannot be in the store with just their bathing suits. Queenie protests and they eventually leave, after which Sammy decides to quit, protesting the way Lengel has embarrassed the girls. As he leaves the store he hopes the girls are watching, but he comes to realize they are gone.

There are many conflicts in A & P, but the main one being between Sammy and the supermarket manager. Lengel thinks that the girls are dressed inappropriate. He confronts them about their skimpy attire, embarrassing them causing Sammy to get angry. Sammy’s reaction to this was that he decides to quit, he quits not only to prove a point to the manager, but also to impress the girls. At the end when he leaves the store in hopes to see the girls, he comes to realize they are nowhere to be found, and is left foreboding about the future.

According to Sammy, there is a class difference between him and Queenie. Queenie goes into the store to purchase herring snacks which are a fancy snack. When Sammy hears Queenie say that she is there to purchase herring snacks he goes off in a day dream. He sees her father and other men standing around all dressed up with bow ties, and women in sandals picking up herring snack on toothpicks off a big glass plate they were all holding drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them. Then he thinks about how in his family when his family has somebody over they get lemonade and if it is a really festive event then they have Schlitz in tall glasses with...
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