The Struggle In M. Gilbert Porter's A & P

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The story portrays the awakening of Sammy, whose vision of his life, at the beginning of the story is at once a frustrating disappointment and a touching movement toward understanding and looking towards the future. He wants someone who will understand the meaning he is building for himself as he puts his actions into a narrative order. M Gilbert Porter voices the view of one critic when he writes of “A&P” that this “the common denominator of middle class suburbia, an appropriate symbol for the mass ethic of a consumer-conditioned society.” (1155-1158). William Peden, on the other hand, called the story “deftly narrated nonsense … which contains nothing more significant than a checking clerk’s interest in three girls in a bathing suits.” (70). “A&P” the title which stands for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, is a real grocery chain. It took on another meaning for the author. In a sense taking American life and showing how it is…show more content…
He has an awakening; he becomes conscious—and he develops a conscience. He no longer interprets and evaluates women—and men—on the basis of sexual difference. To Sammy women are no longer simply sexual objects, and men are no longer the sole and absolute executors of power, privilege, and wholeness. That is, Sammy is no longer captated by the conventional masculineméconnaissance that equates the penis and the phallus. Indeed, Sammy, at the end of his career at the A & P, but at the beginning of his life, now not only embodies the positive masculine qualities of reason and reflection, but he also embodies the positive feminine qualities of compassion and understanding. Most importantly, by volitionally divesting himself of conventional masculine ideology—of raw power and privilege (tyranny)—Sammy gains more power, for he embodies a private, autonomous subjectivity rooted in individual and social justice, and thus he becomes a truly empowered human

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