Queenie from A&P

Essay by jellymelly35College, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

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When the three girls walk into A & P, the one the captures Sammy's attention the most is Queenie. We don't know her name or much about her at all. We see her only briefly while she's in the A&P, in her bathing suit, shopping for herring snacks and pulling money out of her cleavage. In other words, she makes a big impression.

Queenie isn't really this girl's name. Everything we do know about her is based on the observations of Sammy, our narrator. According to him, she has a queen-like appearance which led him to name her Queenie. The name is significant to the story because she is the queen of the story. She is the one that changes an ordinary and boring day into an exciting life changing event. Queenie is the driving force that makes Sammy quit his job changing his life forever. The girls, who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so, I say "I quit" to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they will stop and watch me, their unsuspecting hero.

(Updike 20) The name "Queenie" is significant because it symbolizes how she was not just the "queen" of her friends but the "queen" of Sammy.

Queenie has a very striking appearance. She walks into the grocery store wearing only her bathing suit, which is what grabs Sammy's attention. The bathing suit she was wearing was pink with little nubble on it. (Updike 17) The way the straps of her suit hung off her shoulders made her also attractive. Updike describes Queenie to have sort of oaky hair that in the sun and salt had bleached. (17) Her hair is styled into a loose bun that allows her hair to falls lightly around her face.