A + P Feminism

Decent Essays
Feminism in the 1960s There is an apparent biased view against women in the short story “A+P” by John Updike. Society is male-dominated and women are discriminated against, whether they know it or not. Such a restrictive culture and societal views are indicated by the inner thoughts of the narrator, Sammy, who is the clerk at the supermarket. The interactions of three girls with the rest of the townspeople are documented in Sammy’s mind. Sammy’s descriptions of people, the dialect of the characters, and the actions that are noted converge to reveal the nature of the time and place of the A+P supermarket. The majority of the story takes place in 19-year-old Sammy’s mind. Here he describes, in detail, three girls in bathing…show more content…
Furthermore, the girls only speak when spoken to. This all indicates that the men of the society in “A+P” assume a superior role over the females. It is prudent not to miss the fact that the only time dialect is directed at the girls is when it is coming from a male and is against them, i.e. against what they are wearing and where they are, and there are no niceties towards the girls in this conversation in any way, shape, or form. The only occurrence of anyone defending the girls is when they have already been discriminated against and have exited the premises. The actions/interactions/reactions of the characters in this small setting also point to a female- suppressed environment. The males have the gall to stare openly at the girls as they go about their errands, while the women are shocked and “their eyes snapped back” to their respective business. Some might argue that this is normal for men to stare while the same sex-oriented people quickly avert their gazes. However, this is also indicative of a patriarchy. The status of the characters also indicates that even the store, an insignificantly small thing, follows the status quo of society. The males are the only ones with jobs, while the females are commented to be “houseslaves.” The naming of the characters is also blatantly slanted against the females. Sammy gives the three girls names instead of taking the time to ask them if they even have
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