"A&P", by John Updike, tells the coming of age story of Sammy, a young checker at a local grocery store, who is preoccupied by his youthful contempt for his social standing which ultimately, leads him to an impulsive, life-changing decision. Three young girls enter the A&P on a rather slow Thursday afternoon in nothing but their bathing suits, which causes a lustful stir in Sammy. Because of the decision of his self-righteous manager to banish the three scantily clad girls from the store, Sammy quits his job. The theme of "A&P" is that small, trivial incidents in the struggle between young man's fantasies and the realities of the adult world can prompt large and irreversible actions. Sammy appears to be motivated by the desire to impress the young girls, when truly; he is discontent with his state, mentally restless and ready to make a change. A sub-theme of the story is the feelings of social and economic inadequacy of the 1960's.
Another sub-theme is that of lust.