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A&P short story essay

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In the short story "A&P" author John Updike describes in detail what a boy's infatuation with the opposite sex can lead him to do. John Updike goes into great description about the setting. He also makes it a point to be very vivid when he uses characterization. He gives the characters names that subtlety describe their personalities and lets the reader make assumptions and accusations on Sammy's motivations for his quitting his job at the grocery store.
In "A&P" Updike describes the store as a mid-1900’s “Sandlot” grocery store. This is a setting in which everything seems white-picket-fence, nothing out of the ordinary. When Sammy first sees these three girls in the store it seems as though it is the most excitement he has seen thus far in his job. For example Sammy describes the florescent lights, the stacked packages and the checkerboard green-and-cream rubber-tile floor. This setting and time period allows for the three girls to stand out more than they would in the present tense or anywhere else in an ordinary town. Girls wearing bathing suits is nothing out of the social norm, but in a grocery store public nakedness is not expected among workers and shoppers. This is what made these girls catch the eye of the main character, Sammy.
In addition to carefully describing the setting, Updike describes the characters very well. He gives all the major characters names that sort of fit the way they are predicted to act. For example, the name Sammy is an innocent and immature boyish name. Stokesie, Sammy’s coworker, sounds like his friends nick-named him that after an infamous situation. Sammy describes Stokesie as "married, with two babies chalked up on his fuselage already, but as far as I can tell that's the only difference. He's twenty-two, and I was nineteen this April." Updike uses this unique technique to his advantage throughout this short story.
Besides describing the characters, assumptions can be made why Sammy would quit. Readers can come to the conclusion that the main reason Sammy quit was because he was trying to impress the girls with his assertiveness. He wanted them to notice what he had done without hesitation and afterwards take notice in him. Queenie symbolize something for Sammy. She represents something out of his league, hence the name “Queenie”. Sammy describes Queenie has something much bigger than the people in this town.
Sammy may have quit in a sort of protest. It may be in a kind of feminine protest or maybe it is his way of saying that he doesn't want to be on the blue-collar side of the town any longer. For example, when he quits he thinks he's doing the right thing because he thinks a wrong was done. So instead of staying he just took the consequences. Sammy is a typical, well intentioned, dumb, and teenage American male trying to find his way. However the end of the story says the world will be harder on him because in a small town everyone will know he quit. He will be known as a quitter. His parents will be disappointed. Sammy had quit his job, given up his reputation with his bosses, and the benefits all for girls who still saw nothing but a grocery store boy in him.

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