Struggles of Individuality.

Essay by danni3boiCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2003

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There are moments in each of our lives where one critical decision will bend the path of our fate. It is then when the true character of one is tested. In many instances only those who have a true conviction to change their lives can overcome the restraints that bound them. It's in that instant of time where one's courage will give chance for hope in the future. This is what is portrayed through the character Sammy in the short story "A&P" by John Updike. It is a story of the triumph of individuality and self thought over normal social conditions and beliefs.

First, it is important to note that the author gives many suggestions that Sammy is not from a family of money, and therefore is in a struggling situation. One can gather this from the conversation between Lengel and Sammy when Lengel states, "Sammy, you don't want to do this to your Mom and Dad."(Updike

101). This shows that Sammy's family may have been partially relying on the money that he was making to support the family and creates a situation that puts even more strain on Sammy's when it comes to him making the decision to leave his job at the A&P. Sammy also holds himself at a lower socio-economic position compared to those of high society like Queenie. Sammy goes into a dreamlike state in this passage; "All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room. Her father and the other men were standing around in ice-cream coats and bow ties ..." (Updike 100). This is in comparison to his family gatherings that are described as, "When my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with 'They'll Do It...