Comparing A & P to Supermarket California

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Comparing A & P to Supermarket California “A&P”, by John Updike, has many unique and fruitful layers to just one simple short story. Given the story is placed in a supermarket as is “A Supermarket in California”, written by Allen Ginsberg, the stories lead off in two different directions, but have several similar qualities that stay the same. These two short stories are not what they appear at first glance we’ll unfold each layer one by one seeking similarities and differences to help us learn more about the author, the times it was written in, and the story the author is trying tell itself. Both “Supermarket California” and “A&P” were both published in the 1960’s to early 1970’s and both were written/based in the early and late 1950’s (219). Seeing as they were writing so close together it’s no surprise they are similar in so many ways. When Ginsberg wrote “A Supermarket in California” there was a change in the times. Grocery stores like supermarkets started sprouting up and businesses were prospering (Semesky, par. 2) He resented everything that had to do with commercialism. John Updike on the other hand had another motive in mind when he wrote “A&P”. During the late 60’s sex was not talked about. A boy staring at a bunch of girls was very controversial at those times. Updike expresses a young boys sexual frustration and the awkward years of the young teens. (Semsky, par. 2 and 3) In “A Supermarket in California” it’s apparent that Ginsberg is troubled by what society brings today. While in the supermarket Ginsberg asks “What price bananas? Who killed the pork chops?”(Ginsberg) He doesn’t like the idea of a supermarket (Pagnattaro, par. 5).. Neither does Sammy in “A&P”. Sammy works at a supermarket and can’t stand the look of it. Sammy and Ginsberg can’t stand anything about the place, especially the people. They both give off the sense of hatred for the

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