John Updike's "A&P" The Character of Sammy

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Sammy's Dilemma at the A & P

John Updike's A & P is the story of Sammy; a boy who decisions are based on his

inner feelings and desire to stand up for what is right. At 18 years old Sammy works for

the local A & P; a grocery store. One afternoon a group of girls wearing nothing but

bathing suits enter the store and Sammy is drawn to them. Although Sammy's character

appears timid at first, he quickly becomes bold and daring before the end of the story.

Sammy doesn't get out much, if he even gets out at all. The whole time he is

staring at these girls like he has never seen one before. Although, this may be cause by

the lack of excitement in his job "The store's pretty empty, it being a Thursday afternoon,

so there was nothing much to do except lean on the register and wait for the girls to show

up again (Updike 17)".

Sammy is a shy person whose only interaction with people are the

ones that come through his checkout line. You would never expect Sammy to do what he

does later on in the story.

The girls finish their shopping and proceed to the checkout line and they head

straight for Sammy's lane. In walks the manager and he isn't happy. The manager tells

the girls that they can't come back dressed as they are and Sammy apparently didn't like

that. The girls begin to make a quick break for the door and in the heat of the moment

Sammy yells, "I quit!" The girls continue to walk out of the store and by the time Sammy

can run outside to look for them they were gone.

In conclusion you can see how Sammy's character changes over...