A&P and Cathedral Comparison Essay

1617 Words7 Pages
Mallory Russell
Comparison Essay ENG 102 Online

“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver versus “A + P” by John Updike

In the short stories “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver and “A + P” by John Updike the protagonists experience an epiphany that change their restricted way of thinking. The main character, “Sammy” in John Updike’s, “A + P” is a teenage boy working in the town grocery store. Sammy experiences an epiphany when he decides to quit his job at the grocery store. He quit because he believed that it was wrong of his boss to treat customers poorly due to any pre-conceived notion that was determined by what the customer looks like. Raymond Carver’s main character named “the husband” in his story “Cathedral” experiences an epiphany
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It is unclear whether or not the husband’s dislike for the blind man is fueled by jealousy or by ignorance. It is clear that the husband’s idea of what the company of a blind man would be like is very stereotypical because he bases his opinion on what he has seen in the movies, “In the movies, the blind moved slowly and never laughed.” (Carver 473). The husband bases his judgment from movies and decides, “A blind man in my house was not something I was looking forward to.” (Carver 473). In the story “A+P”, Sammy is immediately interested in the three females that enter the grocery store. His interest possibly provoked by the natural tendency of being a young teenage boy and they being three girls dressed in bathing suites alone. Once the three girls make their way through the grocery store, Sammy immediately begins making his own judgment of their character based on the way they walk and the way they look. Sammy while observing the three girls, names the middle girl, “Queenie” simply based on her appearance and the way she walks. He describes Queenie in a condescending way, “She didn’t look around, not this queen, and she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prima-donna legs. She came down a little harder on her heels…” (Updike 259) After watching the girls walk through the grocery store to find their item he insults their intelligence without having spoken to them, “…(do you really think it’s a mind in there or just a little buzz
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