A & P By John Updike Essay

701 Words Sep 1st, 2015 3 Pages
In this short story, “A & P” John Updike writes about his character, Sammy, who is a clerk at a local A & P grocery store. His immature, judgmental, and disrespectful behavior leads him to take action without thinking through the consequences. As Sammy narrates the story, he gives the readers a vivid description of what is going on around him along with his judgmental input. Updike illustrates how Sammy’s behavior and choices eventually have consequences.
Sammy is inexperienced with the opposite sex, which leads him to make immature statements throughout the short story. His description of the three girls has a strong emphasis on their physical attributes, primarily their breast and butts. He points out the girl in the Plaid’s “soft-looking can” and Queenie’s “two smoothest scoops of vanilla” (Updike 440,443). His simple-minded young brain demonstrates how he reduces the girls to just their physical traits. As Sammy thinks about Queenie’s thoughts, he begins to speculate if there’s anything up there or stating there could be “a little buzz like a bee in a glass” (441). Sammy 's last description makes the readers question if he sees the girls as objects and not human beings. Even the nicknames given to people throughout the short story prove how immature he is. “Queenie” the one he likes the most, her big tall friend “Big Tall Goony-Goony,” and “Plaid” the girl in the plaid (443). Sammy refers to some of the customers as “cash-register-watchers” and “sheep” (440-441).…

Related Documents