John Updike's “A&P” is about a 19 year old boy witnessing his whole life being trapped before his eyes by his job. Sammy, the character that the story revolves around, is working a dead-end cashier job at the local grocery store. Watching not his life, but one of his friend's life dwindle away while he is working to create a better life for his wife and kids at home. Sammy then realizes that if he continued to work at the local grocery store as a cashier that he, too, would become like his friend. Then just as Sammy is starting to think of how he wishes his life would change, in walks his wake-up call. Queenie, a very assertive girl who catches Sammy's eye, walks into the store, wearing her bathing suit a long with her other two girl friends. Sammy's wake-up call shows him that he doesn't have to walk to everyone else's beat and that he can stray from the path. The theme of this is to not let other people choose your own life for you. Lengel, the A&P's store manager, just happens to be a really good friend of Sammy's parents. This is probably the main reason why Sammy got his first job at the town's local store.
John Updike’s story setting is of a small New England town during the 1960’s. Updike’s narrator, Sammy, reveals every detail about his personality through the ways he describes people in the store. First of all, during the opening paragraph Sammy reveals his strong attraction to the opposite sex. He does this as he describes the first of the three girls as Sammy says, “She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a broad soft looking with those two white crescents under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the back of the legs.” Then he continues showing this affection as he goes into detail about Queenie and the other girl. Another thing that Sammy reveals about himself is his immaturity and how judgmental he can be of people who come into the store. He calls people who he doesn’t...