A+P Analysis

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A&P Brandon LaLonde The short story A&P is, at face value, very uninteresting and lackluster. It follows the story of a cashier at a grocery store who quits his job after he witnesses his manager scold three beautiful women. One of the parts that is the most interesting is the basic plot. I believe that within this utterly basic plot is the key to unlocking the meaning behind this story. Why else would John Updike write this short story? The main purpose of this story is to convey a common story about the typical American middle-class family during the 1960’s. The story is simple in its delivery of this. Sammy, the cashier, believes that if he quits, he’ll be rewarded with the attention of the 3 ladies he stood up for. He did this not because of the recognition he wanted, but because he stood up for what he believed was right. In the end, it got him nothing. He lost his job, even after his manager warned him about what he was doing, he got no recognition from the ladies, and will eventually have to face the disappointment from his family. It’s at the end where one can find the meaning of the story. Updike wrote this story to prove that doing what one believes is right won’t always end well for that person. One of the defining points of a person is what they believe to be right and wrong. Opinions may differ about whether or not what Sammy did was worth it or not, but that’s not something people should be debating. The lesson everyone should learn from this story is that doing something morally right may not always be the thing to do for yourself. Essentially, Updike is asking this question: Is it better to do what is morally right or do what’s in your best

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