Life During and After the "A & P"

Essay by haziedaze January 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.8 1 reviews

Downloaded 111 times

Essay descibes John Updike's short story "A & P" and answers two questions- What life lessons does Sammy learn? and How does Sammy's experience relate to a personnal experience?

A single event can forever change a person's life. In the short story "A & P," by

John Updike, a young boy named Sammy has his life forever changed during what begins

as a normal day at his job at an A & P grocery store. For the first time, Sammy witnesses,

and is eventually initiated into, a world of complete freedom, where one can choose their

own path rather than follow the path already laid. Everyone at some point in their lives

encounter similar situations. Sammy learns that his choice to take freedom will not only

effect the life he currently leads, but will also have profound influences over the life he

will eventually have.

Sammy's current life revolves around going to work at the local A & P in his East

Coast town.

Luckily for Sammy, his life does not remain monotonous for long. His life

begins to change forever as "three girls in nothing but bathing suits" lead by a girl who

Sammy refers to as "Queenie" walk into the A & P. Sammy has never witnessed such

freedom. It is in these girls that Sammy sees the freedom his life is missing. This truly is

an unprecedented event for Sammy's quiet little town where "women generally put on a

shirt or shoes" before entering the A & P and even then they are generally "women with

six children and varicose veins mapping their legs" Queenie has a distinct advantage over

Sammy and the rest of the town which allows her to act so freely, specifically money.

Regardless of Queenie's economic situation, the negative reaction of...