A&A by john Updike

Essay by kaycCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2002

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Sammy, a character created by John Updike in the short story A & P, works in the local A & P supermarket. Distracted by a group of young women that has come into the store wearing only a bathing suit, his mind wonders while helping other customers at his register. Sammy begins to daydream about the girls, even giving one a nickname. As he watches them go through the store, picking up only a can of herring snacks, they eventually come back to the checkout lines. At about the same time Lengel, the store manager, came to the front of the store to see the girls dressed in only bathing suits. He tells the girls, now in Sammy's checkout line, "Girls, this isn't the beach". "Queenie", the nickname given to her by Sammy, tries to offer an explanation to the store manger for their appearance. Not taking any excuses, he asks Sammy to ring up their purchase.

Sammy punches the price into the register, takes the dollar bill and gives "Queenie" the appropriate change. Directly after the sale, with the girls still near enough to hear him, he tells Lengel "I quit". Sammy hopes they will stop and see what he has done for them but, they keep walking toward the automatic doors opening to the parking lot. As Sammy walks out the same automatic doors, moments after the girls, he says "I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter". Sammy without a job will surely have to explain to his Mother and Father why he quit and what he has done to the family.

In the story, "A&P", the character Sammy works at a local A&P grocery store. The day this story takes place, Sammy makes a decision that takes him from an...