Essay descibes John Updike's short story "A & P" and answers two questions- What life lessons does Sammy learn? and How does Sammy's experience relate to a personnal experience?
A single event can forever change a person's life. In the short story "A & P," by
John Updike, a young boy named Sammy has his life forever changed during what begins
as a normal day at his job at an A & P grocery store. For the first time, Sammy witnesses,
and is eventually initiated into, a world of complete freedom, where one can choose their
own path rather than follow the path already laid. Everyone at some point in their lives
encounter similar situations. Sammy learns that his choice to take freedom will not only
effect the life he currently leads, but will also have profound influences over the life he
will eventually have.
Sammy's current life revolves around going to work at the local A & P in his East
Luckily for Sammy, his life does not remain monotonous for long. His life
begins to change forever as "three girls in nothing but bathing suits" lead by a girl who
Sammy refers to as "Queenie" walk into the A & P. Sammy has never witnessed such
freedom. It is in these girls that Sammy sees the freedom his life is missing. This truly is
an unprecedented event for Sammy's quiet little town where "women generally put on a
shirt or shoes" before entering the A & P and even then they are generally "women with
six children and varicose veins mapping their legs" Queenie has a distinct advantage over
Sammy and the rest of the town which allows her to act so freely, specifically money.
Regardless of Queenie's economic situation, the negative reaction of...