Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Irresponsibility in John Updike's story A&P In the short story, "A&P", by John Updike, Sammy, the narrator is portrayed as being irresponsible. Sammy is a nineteen year old boy, who works in a supermarket, A&P. However, this boy, who holds a job and is suppose to be responsible, doesn't show responsibility at all. He is preoccupied by other things around him and doesn't pay attention to his job, he compares himself to one of his coworkers, and probably the most irresponsible things he does is quit his job. Yet quitting his job may be the most irresponsible thing for him to do, but he does learn a lesson from it.

As soon as the story begins, we begin to see how Sammy is irresponsible. In the beginning of the story Sammy is ringing up and elderly woman, when three girls walk in wearing just their bathing suits. This distracts Sammy and pulls him away from his job.

He didn't remember if whether or not he rang up one of the woman's items or not. "I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not." He was too busy looking at the girls and noticing each aspect of them. "She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft looking can"¦" Therefore he rings it up again and the woman complains to him. Sammy goes on calling her a witch, as if he did nothing wrong. However it is the woman who didn't do anything wrong in this situation. All she was doing was making sure was getting charged the right amount for McLoughlin 2 her purchase. Maybe if he took some responsibility in his job, he wouldn't have this customer complain to...