A&P Critique

Essay by nikkib6College, UndergraduateB, February 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Bethany Bartley

Patricia Sayles

ENGL 1302


Bartley 3

As people grow up they go through several periods of trial and tribulations, sometimes things go their way and sometimes they don't. In John Updike's A&P, it would appear that the young character is going through a period of these in his life. Some may argue that Sammy quits his job in A&P as he feels he must do so to impress the girls, while others may argue that Sammy quits his job in an act of rebellion. Another reason that can be attributed to Sammy quitting his job is his need for independence and to establish himself apart from the "status-quo". All of these reasons are supported with evidence within the text and will be examined more closely.

It can be argued that Sammy quits as he feels he must do so in order to impress the girls. In A&P, Sammy is intrigued with the girls and the boldness they display upon entering the store in bathing suits half-naked.

He observes everything about them and describes them in great length to the reader. In the text of A&P, he describes the second girl as "this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces…the kind of girl other girls think is very 'striking' and 'attractive' but never quite makes it…which is why they like her so much," (Updike pg. 18) He designates the third girl "Queenie" because of the way that she walked and how she held her head so high that her neck "looked kind of stretched." (Updike, pg 18) When the girls come to his register with Herring Snacks, which are a fancy and expensive item for the time, he contrasts that with his own family where fancy is considered decorative beer glasses. Seeing the Herring snacks causes his...