A & P By John Updike Essay

1153 Words Sep 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
John Updike’s short story, “A&P”, takes place in 1961, in a compact New England town 's A&P grocery store. It is a fun, goofy, language-oriented short story. The action in the short story takes place when three teenage girls, wearing “nothing but bathing suits,” walk into the grocery store. Suddenly, Lengel (the manager) scolds the teenagers for their appearance. This results in Sammy quitting his job at the supermarket because the manager has embarrassed the three girls. Written 1962, “A&P”, in its own simplicity, raises many of the themes that are big for America such as feminism, foolishness, and status which are all major themes introduced in this short story.
First, “A&P” raises some feminist issues such as the idea of women’s liberation. When readers look at this story from a feminist perspective, they witness countless sexist stereotypes, especially the judging of women based on their physical appearance. These judgments are apparent until there is resemblance between the way the main characters view the females in the short story and the way many men view “nudes.” This is revealed through the righteousness in Sammy 's narrative. While working the checkout line, Sammy the main character watches the girls closely and judges their looks, noting every detail as to how they represent themselves. As the girls first appear, Sammy describes each girl and her swimsuit. Everyone reacts to the girls as they stir things up. They would not have this effect if they were clothed…

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