John Updike’s A&P is a classic short story that has been widely studied and analyzed. The story tells the tale of Sammy, a young man who works in an A&P grocery store, and his encounter with three young women who enter the store wearing only their bathing suits. Sammy is immediately smitten with the girls and becomes determined to impress them.
However, when the store manager asks the girls to leave, Sammy quits his job in protest. The story is frequently interpreted as a coming-of-age tale, with Sammy’s actions being seen as a rebellion against the conformity of suburban life. Whatever your interpretation, John Updike’s A&P is a well-written and thought-provoking story that is definitely worth a read.
In paragraph 31 of John Updike’s “A&P,” Sammy, a young man who works in the supermarket industry, makes the decision to leave his job. Despite Lengel’s assurance that you’ll feel this for the rest of your life,” Sammy goes through with his plan and gives back his uniform and tie after quitting his job at A & P (96).
Sammy’s actions are a result of him witnessing three young girls, one of which was wearing a bathing suit, being ridiculed by Lengel and the other customers in the store. Sammy is outraged by the way in which the girls are treated and decides to stand up for them by quitting his job. In doing so, Sammy demonstrates his maturity by taking control of his life and making a decision that he believes is right, even if it may not be popular.
While A&P may be set in the 1960s, John Updike’s short story remains relevant today as it speaks to universal themes of adolescence and coming-of-age. Through Sammy’s character, Updike addresses issues such as peer pressure and conformity vs. individuality. A&P is also a coming-of-age story in that it follows Sammy as he transitions from being a child to an adult.
In the beginning of the story, Sammy is described as being “ nineteen and about to turn twenty” (93). He is no longer a child, but he is not yet an adult. This period of limbo can be confusing and scary, as one is trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. Sammy struggles with this throughout the story, as evidenced by his internal conflict over whether or not to quit his job.
On the one hand, he wants to stand up for what he believes in and be true to himself. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to alienate himself from his friends and family or risk losing his job. In the end, Sammy makes the decision to follow his heart, which leads him to a greater understanding of himself and his place in the world.
A&P is a coming-of-age story that speaks to universal themes of adolescence and peer pressure. Through Sammy’s character, John Updike addresses issues such as conformity vs. individuality and the transition from childhood to adulthood. A&P remains relevant today as it speaks to the struggles we all face during our teenage years.
Through this episode, Sammy’s character development may be seen from being immature and immaturity to maturing and refusing to adhere to the norms of society. From the beginning of the tale, as Sammy described the three women at the shop in great detail, you could see that he was childish and sexist.
The way he described their behinds and how they were “waddling” made it quite clear. As the story progressed, you could see Sammy slowly growing up as he began to realize that the A&P wasn’t the best place for him and that he didn’t want to be like everyone else around him. In the end, Sammy made the ultimate decision to stand up for himself and the three girls, even though it meant losing his job. This showed great maturity on his part, and ultimately led to his transformation from being a child to becoming a man.
Paragraph 31 is when the transformation comes to reality. He took action in his decision, knowing the consequences of his actions and facing them head-on. On page 96, he makes this point clear when he says, ” It appears to me that once you begin a gesture, it’s fatal not to finish it.” Sammy demonstrates his refusal to conform to the society around him by quitting his job.
A&P is a story about a young man who learns this lesson the hard way. Sammy, the protagonist, is a typical teenager working at A&P, a local grocery store. He is bored with his job and feels trapped in his small town life. One day, three girls in bathing suits come into the store and Sammy is immediately attracted to one of them, Queenie.
He stares at them as they shop and makes comments to his co-worker Lengel about their appearance. Lengel scolds him for being disrespectful and tells him to watch himself. The girls finish their shopping and go to check out. Sammy is still watching them when he sees Lengel stop them and ask them to put their clothes back on before they leave the store. The girls are embarrassed and leave without buying anything.
Sammy is angry with Lengel for humiliating the girls and quit his job on the spot. He goes after the girls to apologize, but they are gone. Sammy has made a decision that will change his life forever. He has chosen to stand up for what he believes in, even if it means going against the norms of society.
Although A&P is a very short story, John Updike does an excellent job of revealing Sammy’s character through his actions and dialogue. We see Sammy grow from a boy to a man in just a few pages. His decision to quit his job shows us that he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even if it means going against the grain. A&P is a coming of age story that anyone can relate to. We have all been in Sammy’s shoes at one point or another, feeling trapped and bored with our lives. But Updike reminds us that it’s never too late to make a change.
Sammy’s description of the old people who worked in the shop and his comment about their hard work hint to a world where only one course was open to him: work, go to school, or join the military. It is also apparent that Sammy resides in a small town with everyone knowing each other; he gives evidence of this when he refers to Lengel and his parents’ long friendship on page 96.
A&P by John Updike is a short story about a young man, Sammy, who makes a decision that could change his life forever.
The A&P in the story is based on the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company which was founded in 1859; today it is more commonly known as A&P. Back in the day, A&P was known for being the largest grocery store chain in America. The A&P in the story is most likely one of the earlier A&P stores because it is small and family owned. Lengel, the store manager, knows all of his customers by name which would not happen in a large chain store.
Sammy is nineteen years old and has worked at the A&P for three years. He is a cashier and he seems to enjoy his job, even though it is clear that he does not want to do this for the rest of his life. Sammy is an intelligent young man and he is aware of the fact that he is not living up to his potential.
The story takes place on a Thursday afternoon in June, which we know because Sammy mentions that it will be “sweltering” later on. The store is not too busy and Sammy is scanning groceries when he notices three girls walking in wearing only their bathing suits.
The girls are clearly out of place in the A&P and they attract a lot of attention from the customers and the staff. Sammy is especially interested in one of the girls, who he describes as “the one with the wavy dark hair that shone and rippled over her shoulders.” He is so mesmerized by her that he does not even hear when Lengel asks him to watch the register while he goes to talk to the girls.
Lengel tells the girls that they need to leave and put some clothes on before they can do their shopping. The girls are embarrassed and they quickly leave the store. Sammy is angry with Lengel for humiliating the girls and he quits his job on the spot.