Thomas Essay

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Justin Anderson Eng 102 Dr. Hougland January 23, 2011 “A&P” From the Inside Out As far as short stories go “A&P”, written by John Updike, is one of the better ones I have read. Updike’s “A&P” is a story about a seemingly normal day at work for a young man and a series of events that culminate into an unexpected conclusion. The pieces of this story that make it an interesting read are the characters themselves, the plot and the conflict, and finally how the main character deals with the conflict and how his actions reveal his personality. The characters in “A&P” and how each of them reacts to the events that transpire are what really bring the reader to a familiar frame of mind where they can identify with them. The main character, Sammy, is a very ordinary young man that has a very ordinary job at a grocery store. The flat character in the story, named Stokesie, is Sammy’s co worker. The characters that bring about the crisis in the story are the bathing suit clad girls that Sammy affectionately refers to as Queenie, Plaid, and Big Tall Gooney-Gooney. The clear antagonist in “A&P” is the grocery store manager Mr. Lengel and Lengel is the epitome of a typical “boss” with young subordinates. Each character in this story adds to a plot that is unclear in the beginning but abruptly culminates when they converge with each other. Updike opens the story with the three girls entering the A&P grocery store and thus the plot begins. The first part of the story is filled with much observation of the three girls by Sammy, who is working a check stand. Sammy seems to be intrigued by them because they are dressed in nothing more than bathing suits and that fact alone is highly uncommon at this particular store. Sammy notices that the girls just move about the regularly clad customers and becomes taken by them. The plot begins to thicken as the girls

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