Fiction Analysis of a&P and the Lesson Essay

1161 Words Mar 15th, 2013 5 Pages
The theme of desire has been portrayed in many novels and stories. Perhaps the most well-known depiction of desire can be found in the Bible. In the Book of Genesis, a snake tempts Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge after he convinces them that they will gain God’s knowledge of good and evil and be protected from death. Despite God’s word to not eat of the fruit, Adam and Eve did so anyway. Surely, this story portrays temptation; however, beyond the theme of temptation lays the theme of desire. Knowing it was wrong, Adam and Eve ate the fruit because they had the desire for what the snake promised them. Similarly, Toni Cade Bambara and John Updike also display the theme of desire in their short stories. In …show more content…
In “A&P” and “The Lesson”, both protagonists narrate the story in first person. This is especially important because the reader better connects with the character. One can better relate when they feel as if they are part of the plot. With Updike’s combination of first person point of view and powerful imagery, one not only feels like they are there, but they can picture it as well. The reader can visualize the girls walking through the maze of isles in the store. Every detail Updike sketches is important, even the “two smoothest scoops of vanilla” Sammy sees in Queenie’s top-piece (Updike 6). This tells the reader that Sammy is not an experienced lover. He is running wild with his thoughts and can barely control himself. Sammy is enthralled by Queenie and the other girls. So much, in fact, that he quits his job after Lengel, the manager, ridicules the girls about wearing proper attire when entering a grocery store. This particular event shows the true desire Sammy has for these girls and their attention. Likewise, Sylvia has a true desire to change her ascribed status. The reader sees this when Sylvia states “ain't nobody gonna beat me at nuthin” at the end of the story (Bambara 6). Sylvia becomes a dynamic character with this statement. Influenced by her desire for the Fifth Avenue world, like purchasing the sailboat, Sylvia makes a vow that she is going to change. She has the desire to leave the ghetto, to be something greater than the ghetto. She is going to

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