A & P By John Updike

765 Words4 Pages
John Updike wrote, “A &P” in 1961. In this era of the 1950s and early 1960s, conservative dress mirrored conservative social values. Conformity was the measure of popularity as well as a measure of moral rightness. During this time, people were more afraid of being labeled outsiders than they were afraid of the outsiders themselves (“A & P”). Gender issues and the emergence of feminist consciousness are represented when Lengel states the rules that proclaim the girls are "decently dressed"-coding the norms of the day for correct dress and behavior for women while Queenie returns, "we are decent." The story, “A & P” By John Updike is a story of enlightenment, whereby the main character Sammy grows from being a male chauvinist to seeing women as human beings. He uses this view to show how things function, that most people do not notice like how men view women. Through his text, John Updike conveys to the world his views on men versus women. Sammy is a male chauvinist at the beginning of the story. While working, Sammy sees three girls that enter the store in bathing suits. He is so distracted by them that he cannot remember if he rang up a box of crackers or not. As it turns out, he did ring them up, a fact that his customer, “a witch about fifty,” lets him know quickly and loudly (“A & P”). Queenie becomes the central focus of Sammy 's attention as he collects and provides details like the exact shade of her hair color and the condition of her bathing suit. He described.

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