Paper 2: An Analysis of “A&P’
Sammy in Updike’s “A&P”, makes an impulsive and ego-driven decision in quitting therefore he realizes how “hard” life would be from that point. Sammy made the wrong decision in quitting his job and he realizes he did, but Sammy has too much to pride to take back his word.
As soon as Sammy sees Queenie and her friends, they catch his attention. He becomes most infatuated with Queenie. He is so distracted by the girls that he even rings up “witch” (440) wrong. Sammy gets lucky enough that the girls pick his register to check out. Sammy is in awe when Queenie pulls the money “between the two smoothest scoops of vanilla”(443). Queenie mesmerizes Sammy. Lengel then comes and “Everyone’s luck begins to run out” (442). This is the turning point for Sammy. Lengel begins to scold the girls for coming into the store with only bathing suits on. Sammy notices Queenie’s face turn red. As the girls leave, Sammy makes an impulsive decision. He quits his job.
Sammy quit after he though Lengel embarrassed the girls. After he says, “I quit” (443), Lengel acts as if he did not hear what Sammy says. Lengel says, “Did you say something Sammy” (444)? At that point Sammy has the chance to take back what he says, but he chooses not to. “Once you begin a gesture it is fatal to go back” (444). After he quit, he could not take back what he said. Even though knew he made the wrong decision in quitting and was given the chance to take back what he said, he did not do it because it was “fatal” to do that.
He has too much pride to take back his word. Sammy is vulnerable to pride. He knows he needs the job. Lengel is family friend and gave Sammy the job as favor to Sammy’s parents. His family needs the extra income, but Sammy decides to carry on with his decision. His pride means more to him than his job. Sammy thinking it is fatal to go back on his word is ignorant and arrogant of him. He regretted what he did and, but regret was not enough for...
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