Analysis Of John Updike 's ' The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company '

1443 Words Nov 25th, 2014 6 Pages
Sometimes, the insane decisions some men make to gain a woman’s attention works in a way the opposite it was intended to. John Updike delivers an impeccable short story, which can be related to many men’s decisions’ in life. A & P is about a nineteen-year-old man, Sammy, who makes a decision late on in the story just because he hates his job as a cashier. For those of you who don’t know, A & P, also known as The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, is a supermarket and liquor store chain in the United States. What makes the short story A & P exceptional is how John Updike utilizes the grocery store setting as a backbone to influence Sammy’s overall decision to quit his job. The setting influences Sammy because how he describes A & P shows the reader that he hates everything about his job as a cashier. Sammy greatly dislikes many of the customers and even calls them all sheep in the story. He also talks about some customers in a way that no customer service worker ever should. Sammy said, “By the time I got her feathers smoothed and her goodies into a bag--she gives me a little snort in passing, if she 'd been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem” (615) Although this customer was snotty, it’s Sammy’s hatred of his job which makes it worse. One single incidence like this would not have made Sammy want to quit his job, but over time, these compounded incidences did and he was sick of it. Also, Sammy hates the lack of excitement that his job brings…

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