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Short Story Summary Of "The A&P" By John Updike

651 words - 3 pages

"The A&P"In the short story, " The A&P," by John Updike, the author seeks to make his point using an unlikely setting and scenario. Using a supermarket as a metaphor for a society, Updike illustrates how breaking the norms of society evokes fear and brings about intolerance in people. When a society is accustomed to only one way of doing things it will not be accept anything different. Members of a society fear change, and only behavior that deviates from the status quo. They resist allowing new things into their society because of this fear.Sammy, the main character, has a very simple but mundane life. He doesn't appear to have many prospects of improving his life; he has no hopes and dreams for the future. Sammy is an employee of the local A&P, which we come to realize, is a society within itself. Throughout the short story the store is represented to reflect a homogenous society where routine was commonplace. For example, it never fails that one lady comes in to buy groceries and ask questions about everything Sammy rings up. He knows that she will harass him about all the prices and watch over him like a hawk to make sure he is doing everything right. He even describes how the people who come in to the store do the exact same thing every time. Nothing ever seems to change from the norm.One day, as Sammy was ringing a customer up at the cash register, he looked up and saw three girls walk in the store. E went into great detail describing the girls. They were wearing clothes that nobody in the society would wear in the A&P. The main girl, who he nicknamed Queenie, had on a bikini top and walked in with her head held high. The other two girls just followed behind her as they walked down the aisle. Sammy was intrigued by...

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