In a Five-page short story John Updike attempts to tell the story of a decade. In the story A & P, John Updike illustrates the two sides of the 1960s, one side being rebellious youth and the other side being the rigid establishment of the elders, further in the story Updike shows the clash between the two sides. Sammy and the three young girls are certainly a representation of the youth, while Lengal, the much older store manager has to be strong elder sides. In the story we see the clash between them is the same as the battle between these two sides in the 60s. Lets start with the young ones.
The characters of Sammy and the three girls are symbolic of the rebellious youth in he 1960's.Youth is significant in this story. Sammy is only 19 years old, and the girls are younger than he. The three girls walk in wearing very scandalous clothing. The choice the girls make is to walk into an A & P with nothing on but their bathing suits this is a conscious decision, this is not by mistake. They are young, but they are also sexual beings, proud of who they are and what they have. They are aware of Sammy watching them, and they are half self-conscious and half exhilarated by his attention. This shows that these young people may lack the ability to vote but they still have the choices in what do to and what rules to follows. These decisions based on their choices often go against strong force of the generation before them. The biggest reaction to this powerful rebellion is the reaction from the older people in the store.
Lengel, the store manager and the other shoppers and their responses are the representation of the elders and the system of the 1960s. Their reaction to what these three girls are wearing is classic and easy to picture. Sammy describes it "I bet you could set off dynamite in an A & P and the people would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering 'Let me see, there was a third thing, began with A,