Comparing A&P and An Ounce of Cure
If a reader is given two short stories, two stories that are seemingly different on the surface, to read and compare and contrast, a surprising amount of similarities and differences can be found. Unless they deal with the same subject matter, most short stories aren't really related, until some analysis is done. The stories "A&P," by John Updike, and "An Ounce of Cure," by Alice Munro, are very similar but very different.
One of the mot important similarities between these two stories is the problems the opposite sex "causes" for the main character. In "A&P," Sammy, the main character, quits his job because he thinks that his boss has mistreated and embarrassed three young ladies that were shopping in the store. In "An Ounce of Cure," the female main character's boyfriend dumps her and she responds by trying to overdose on aspirin, gets drunk, and loses almost all of her baby-sitting jobs.
Another similarity between these two stories is the fact that they are set between thirty and forty years ago. This is very important to both stories. In "A&P," the young ladies wouldn't have been walking around in a store in their bathing suits, and they definitely wouldn't have been wearing a two piece bathing suit if this had been set any earlier. Also, Sammy probably wouldn't have quit his job just because his boss embarrassed a few young ladies. In "An Ounce of Care," the main character would have never thought about drinking at such a young age. Also, she wouldn't even have been in the situation if the story had been set earlier because she would have been forbidden to
date. These things have become more acceptable in recent times. The titles are also important to the stories. In "A&P," Sammy is a clerk at the local A&P and almost all of the action takes place inside the store. In "An Ounce of Cure," the main character and her mother have to use and ounce of cure to try and make up for the main character's mistakes. If only an ounce of prevention had been used, there wouldn't have been any of those horrible problems that arose.
These two stories are also very different. The main difference is that Sammy takes less dramatic measures to resolve...