A Matter Of Appearance By John Updike Essay

768 Words Sep 17th, 2015 4 Pages
A Matter of Appearance
In the short story A & P, by John Updike the narrator/main character Sammy quits his job at the A & P store after defending three girls dressed in bathing suits from the “stingy” A & P manager Lengel, however the girls leave the store without even noticing Sammy’s attempt at gaining their attention. This then raises the question about why he quit. What was his reason? Was it wrong? Was it right? It is quite possible that Sammy may have had a deeper subconscious reason for quitting the A & P, but that is up to the readers to decide, because I am not going to answer that question here, but rather focus on a different matter. It does not make a difference why Sammy quit because it does not excuse or deny that his actions were filled with inner desires of lust while using distasteful, disrespectful, and sexist words towards the three girls based on only their appearance.
The first girl who catches Sammy’s attention is the one he calls Plaid. He is so distracted by her physical appearance that he almost describes her three times. Each time, throughout his narration, he uses distasteful words to describe her. He uses such words as “chunky”, “chubby”, and “fat” (Updike 32-33). Those are all highly offensive when said about someone, even if you are just thinking them. The most distasteful and disrespectful thing said towards her though, is when Sammy states, “…the plump one in plaid, that I liked better from the back—a really sweet can…” (35). Sammy does not…

Related Documents