A & P Analysis

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In the short story entitled “A & P” John Updike tells a story of a 19-year-old teenage boy named Sammy, who is a cashier at a small grocery store. As he and his coworker, Stokesie, mesmerize a group of three girls who parade into the store only wearing bathing suits, they begin to crack jokes about the three girls and their personalities. Toward the end of the short story the manager, Lengel, confronts the three girls about only wearing bathing suits into a store. In return, Sammy doesn't feel like what Lengel did was okay and decides to quit A & P. Throughout the story, Sammy and Stokesie proves themselves to be very similar creating a central theme in the short story. However, they are both very different at the same time. The way both Sammy and Stokesie react when the group of girls walks into the store shows a central theme of sexual want. As soon as the girls walk in, Sammy & Stokesie are automatically drawn to them. Sammy is a single 19-year-old however, Stokesie is married with two kids. This shows how strong sexual want can be in men. Both Stokesie and Sammy seem to have a bit of immaturity when they talk about “Queenie”. When Sammy refers to Queenie’s chest as “more than pretty” the immature voice comes out. Sammy gives customers different nicknames based on what he observes, which typically is a stereotype. He gives the “leader” of the group the name “Queenie”. The first thing he notices about Queenie is that she wasn't very tall. But he explains that the other two girls follow her while she looks straight ahead walking “on these primadonna legs”. Sammy and Stokesie analyze why the three girls walk in with only bathing suits on when the beach is 5 miles away. The immature voice comes out once again when Sammy stereotypes Queenie with a certain social status simply when she begins to talk to him at the checkout. While Sammy thinks about what her

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