Analytical Essay on The A & P

Essay by teddygrl29High School, 10th gradeB+, April 2004

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"Did you say something Sammy?"

"I said I quit."

Four simple words, and a few steps can change your life forever. Thus Sammy found out in the short story entitled A& P written by John Updike.

This story really gives you an insight into the somewhat complex mind of a teenager. Checking items for an incoming customer is not all that the main character, Sammy, is worried about "checking." Analyzing three girls that walk into the store, Sammy is attracted. But as the story unwinds, Sammy tries to be a hero, and ends up quitting his job for these three girls. Until he exits the building, he does not fully see the weight that his two-second decision has on his life; this leads me to believe that the young, naïve mind of a teenager can often lead to disaster.

Teenagers are too preoccupied with the opposite sex to realize their actions.

This story, A & P reflects this view quite thoroughly. Throughout the story, Sammy's mind is infested with the presence of the three, bathing-suit clad girls that enter the store that day. Sammy actually goes into great detail about one of the three, which he labels "The Queen."

"She had on a kind of dirty-pink - - beige maybe, I don't know - bathing suit with a little nubble all over it and, what got me, the straps were down." This small statement taken for the text itself proves my point. In the narrative, he is supposed to be busy with working, when instead, most of the written thoughts are of the three girls.

Teenagers are very stereotypical. As also depicted in this tale, the main character seems to "judge books by their covers." Sammy makes several references to the people mentioned. The most predominant reference he makes...