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TekBoi Reads: John Updike's 'A & P'

TekBoi Reads: John Updike's 'A & P'



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Published by Ali TekBoi
TekBoi reveiws John Updike's 'A & P'

The story: http://digg.com/u11PL5
The movie: http://digg.com/u11PLH
TekBoi reveiws John Updike's 'A & P'

The story: http://digg.com/u11PL5
The movie: http://digg.com/u11PLH

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ali TekBoi on Apr 20, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Ali Kilinc – 900235909 – Essay #1: Literary Analysis - Draft 7 [GRADED]Ms. Rebecca AlexanderENG 193: Literature & Composition – 10:30AM – 4042329 April 2009
“A & P” By: John Updike
A & P,” by John Updike, is a fantastic story for any teenager, especiallya rebellious one (Updike 14-19). This story mainly addresses Sammy, aseemingly ambitious teenager who would interest any other teenager andallow him to directly relate to what happens in the story. Sammy works at theA & P, and his life is boring up until something amazing happens thatchanges his life completely. John Updike captures this incident in a wayperfect for teenagers to relate to. A few excellent reasons to read A & P”include the writer’s highly descriptive writing style, the relatable conflictbetween the manager of the A & P and Sammy, and the life lesson learned atthe end of the story.In the short-story “A & P,” the writing style can be described as beingextremely descriptive. For example, the narrator says, “She came down alittle hard on her heels, as if she didn’t walk in her bare feet that much,putting down her heels and letting the weight move along to her toes as if she was testing the floor with every step, putting a little deliberate extraaction into it” (Updike 15). This is a tremendous amount of information togive the reader when the same could have been said with fewer details. Itcan be observed that the author goes into to huge detail when explaining
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simple things pertaining to Sammy, the boy behind the register, so that heappears somewhat desperate. Sammy pays great attention to detail,especially when regarding beautiful women. One might assume that theauthor does this so the reader can feel what the characters are feeling andeasily relate to them. Also, Sammy could relate to many teenagers because,according to Greg Bentley, teenagers usually pay immense amounts of attention to the opposite sex (Bentley 2). This vast attention to the elementsis also apparent in the scene where the girls come to the register. AsQueenie, the obvious leader of the group, comes up to the register to pay forher item, Sammy fantasizes about caressing her face, touching her breasts,and so forth. The narrator, as from Sammy’s perspective, describes herbreasts as “two perfect scoops of ice cream,” as if they are food to eat. It isobvious that the author uses such connotation to display the sexualization of the female; he acts as if female breasts and the female body are objects outin the open to be devoured by men as they wish. Teenagers could relate tothis because many of them, possibly unknowingly, see women in this way. This descriptive writing style also allows the reader to relate to the conflictthat occurs in the story.Another reason to read A & P” is the relevant conflict that happensbetween Sammy, who works at the register, and Lengel, the manager of theA & P. The conflict between the two is prevalent during the middle of thestory when Sammy begins to subconsciously demean Lengel. When Lengelsees the girls, he believes that they are dressed in a disrespectful manner.
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He then assumes that he must take action and manipulate the situation bydisciplining the girls; Sammy thinks otherwise. During this, a slight battlearises between Sammy and Lengel. From the aftermath of the confrontationbetween the girls and Lengel, Sammy lacks the courage to do anything, andthis infuriates him, so he loses the battle. To compensate, he over-reacts andsubsequently loses the war also. Furthermore, the A & P itself is importantwhen considering the clues in this scene because it somewhat symbolizesthe entire town, and how it is not accepting of change. This symbolizationcan directly relate to a teenager’s life because it can represent anestablishment that dismisses a teenager’s hopes, dreams, and wishes.Finally, before one overlooks reading A & P,” one should rememberthe harsh and obvious life lesson that Sammy learns at the end of the story.While Lengel is yelling at the girls in front of the register, Sammy begins toget angry with him. In the aftermath, Sammy does something irrational,stupid, and immature: he quits. He quits because he is acting similarly to theway any rebellious teenager
act. Sammy tried to beat the system bydoing something he, at the time, thought was bold. What he did was clearlynot a sign of boldness; in fact, it only proved his immaturity. Just as Sammystarted to quit, he had realized that quitting was stupid, but it was too late.Sammy is planning on saving the day by “sticking it to the manandcharming the girls. The harsh truth that Sammy has to face as soon as heleaves theA & P in a uniform-less manner, is that the girls have left. He quickly realized

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