Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P Essay

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Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P

John Updike's A&P provides numerous perspectives for critical interpretation. His descriptive metaphors and underlying sexual tones are just the tip of the iceberg. A gender analysis could be drawn from the initial outline of the story and Sammy's chauvinism towards the female. Further reading opens up a formalist and biographical perspective to the critic. After several readings I began seeing the Marxist perspective on the surreal environment of A&P. The economic and social differences are evident through Sammy's storytelling techniques and even further open up a biographical look at Updike's own view's and opinions. According to an essay posted on the internet Updike was a womanizer in his
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He continues to give physical descriptions of her hair, chest, and the royal like gait in which she carried herself. These socialites were defying the conservative middle class norms by wearing not only swimsuits with no shoes, but dropping their straps and inhibitions at the door. They were in a class by themselves. Sammy in his middle class environment was more street level with his knowledge and storytelling skills. This is further supported by the comment, ? Walking into the A&P with your straps down, I suppose it?s the only kind of face you can have[prim]. She held her head so high her neck, coming up out of those white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn?t mind.? The other two girls provide filler while Sammy is formulated the rest of his dramatization. Very little is said about them and the chunky one seems to have an eye for cookies. The girls continue their defiance social norms and walk into an aisle against other customers. It is here that the rest of the store takes notice to the girls. But they are merely sheep in passing, they have no identity to Sam, nor does he waste his time including them to his creation. The homemakers are house slaves, an appropriate term for the time and era. The aisle of their emergence is marked by light…

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