Analytical Essay Of John Updike's A & P

977 Words4 Pages
Analytical essay of A&P by John Updike Gail Kelly; C0321148 Eng 160 This short story by John Updike is set in the North of Boston in 1961. During this time in history there were major political concerns as Cold War hysteria plagued most of the United States. The protagonist, Sammy, is a clerk at a grocery store who spends his lazy work days analyzing the patrons. On this particular day there is an attention-grabbing display happening in the store; three young girls are shopping in bikinis. Given that it is the 1960’s the idea of girls strolling around in bathing suits in public is out of the ordinary. The climax occurs after the three girls are paying at Sammy’s till when Mr. Lengel, Sammy’s boss, says to the three girls “Girls, this isn’t a beach.” (Updike, 1961). After a discrepancy…show more content…
Sammy is a very relatable character in that he makes a very human and juvenile choice of quitting something for no good reason. This character takes little thought into account in regards to the consequences of his actions. After he quits he is given a chance to stay with his job by his boss but his choice to follow through is driven by his ego. Ego is something that many individuals get stuck into and young people are the best examples; often they make choices because of what other people might think instead of because it is best for them. The story concludes with Sammy being alone, he is now looking in at something he is no longer a part of ,the A&P, while thinking about something he will never be a part of ,Queenies life. The story ends on a gloomy note as Sammy seems nervous about the future and what it might involve. However, Sammy is on the road to new challenges and hopefully a more rewarding life, but that will not come without its struggles and this development was the first of many to come from this young
Open Document