Queenie ("A&P") and Miss Ferenczi ("Gryphon")

Essay by tostudyCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2009

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In the creative world of literature, John Updike and Charles Baxter have risen as the most prolific writers. Using the character of a woman, both of them breathe a new breeze into social life. By choosing a stock character in the supermarket and a round one in the school accordingly, Updike and Baxter make their story more vital and unique. Although there are a lot of traditional conventions in society, the character Queenie in "A&P" created by John Updike and Miss Ferenczi in "Gryphon" written by Charles Baxter are not the typical American women. Queenie and Miss Ferenczi have the differences in appearance and behavior, but they are all described as women who tend to go against the social standards in which traditionally moral rules and educational principles are highly appreciated.

After the 1950s, in spite of economic success in the post-World War II, gender roles and code of behaviors still remain influential in American society.

For personal conduct, the cores that set value in social life are obedience and respect. If the social standards conclude appropriate dressing, Queenie is one of the people who does not comply with these standards. Thus, the grocery store's manager Lengel points out, "We want you decently dressed when you come in here." (qtd. in Updike 128). In the supermarket setting, there are three girls wearing bathing suits, walking in. One of them is called Queenie by Sammy, a cash register. Being young and single, Sammy is also infatuated by young and beautiful girls. And yet, Queenie and her friends become his target. Nevertheless, the way Queenie is depicted attracts not only Sammy, but the readers also.

With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare...