It’s summer time in the 1960s in this small town located near Boston. The beach is near, the days are hot, and life is boring for a nineteen year old grocery clerk named Sammy. Sammy is a lost and lonely young man, who spent the majority of his work day scrutinizing each and every customer that walked through the door. At the very moment he would see them, he would sigh and psychologically pick them apart. Until one day, in walked three young girls wearing bikinis and his bitterness was temporarily put aside. Although immature and ignorant, this young man shows a softer side- sympathy. Throughout this short story, the reader is able to see the various attitudes and emotions of Sammy, who is sick of everyday regular-life, and is desperate for change.
Sammy is an immature young man, who hates his job and thinks he knows how to treat customers. His boredom and carelessness at work effect his on-the-job performance: “I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. I ring it up again and the customer starts giving me hell.” He then goes on to talk about that particular customer to be the type to sit there and wait for him to make an error, then jump all over him when he finally does make a mistake. This is a perfect example of his immaturity. Also, Updike gives subtle hints to his immaturity. He mentions near the end of the story how his mother irons his clothes for work. The way he describes the customers, as barn-yard animals, is very degrading, and could also be related to his hatred for this job.
Because he hates his job so much, and is so bored with his surroundings, Sammy has nothing better to do than to analyze every customer, with intricate detail. So one day in walks three young girls wearing nothing but bikinis. Now as you can imagine not much excites Sammy at the A&P, so when he feasted his eyes on the girls, he started to pick them apart. Immediately he started observing their most intimate details. He...
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