Literary Elements In John Updike's A & P

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Analyzing the Literary Elements of A&P In John Updike’s short story “A&P”, we are going to explore three particular literary elements. These elements are used to help give his readers a cashier’s perspective of a slow, yet eventful day in a grocery store. Sammy, who was a cashier in the store had come in for an ordinary day on the job. Little does he know it would be anything but ordinary. Three young girls come in for a quick shopping trip in the middle of town wearing nothing but two piece bathing suits. In this story, readers learn why these girls cause such a raucous, and how it affected the way Sammy’s shift ended at work that day. In “A&P”, Updike uses the literary elements of symbolism, point of view, and setting to add personality …show more content…
We know a lot about this short story by hearing Sammy’s perspective of things. We can picture in our heads the exact day those girls walked into the grocery store, and what kind of day it was. It was a very slow Thursday afternoon. As the girls walked in and caught Sammy’s eye, he goes into depth of what each of the girls look like. Whether he describes the chunky girl in the plaid two piece bathing suit, or the second girl with chubby berry face, we can get a basic idea of what type of girls these are and even what they look like. He goes on to describe “Queenie”, the head of the crew. This is the one that got Sammy’s eye. She was wearing a dirty pink, beige bathing suit with the straps pushed down exposing her tan lines. She did not look around much, she was clearly a very confident person. Sammy tells us what a pig the butcher is. He was “sizing up their joints” (page 202) as they walked away from the meat counter, and so Sammy began to feel sorry for them. When reading this story and paying close attention to Sammy’s point of view, we wouldn’t know that he would try to be the “unexpected hero” to the girls at the end of the story when he quits his job in front of

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