A & P By John Updike Essay

1033 Words Jun 2nd, 2016 null Page
A&P: Sammy
A&P is a comic short story by author John Updike, set in first person narration by a sales clerk at an A&P store named Sammy. Sammy notices three girls walk into his store in only their swimsuits, which is a fearless act to be made in the time that the story was set. The head of the pack, “Queenie”, leads the other two girls through the aisles, and her confidence doubles the sum of her friends’. She seems to be guiding them through a life lesson, teaching them to keep their heads high, reminding them of the power that their sexuality has. Sammy notices minute details about each of the girls, taking in their tan lines and the seams of their swimsuits. He is particularly interested in Queenie, nearly obsessive over her overflowing self-confidence and straight stare down the aisles. He notes her boldness, her absolute rebellion to conformity from the moment he spots her, and is intrigued. After a while of shopping, Sammy scores a stroke of luck in having the girls arrive at his register. As he nervously but deliberately rings in their single can of herring snacks, his manager shadows the group and scolds the girls for entering the store so bare. He claims that it is policy to cover the shoulders, and tells the girls to come in dressed appropriately next time. Queenie pushes back, insisting that they are dressed quite fine, her tone stern and confident once again as her sheep friends cower behind her. Sammy observes this rebellion once again, and as the girls begin to…

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