A & P and Everyday Use Analysis and Comparison Essay

1682 Words 7 Pages
A & P and Everyday Use Analysis and Comparison

In a modern society where good deeds and integrity are taken for granted, it is necessary for people to stand up for what is right. The short story “A & P”, written by John Updike, tells the story of Sammy and how he takes a stand for what he believes is right, only he is not given the gratitude he deserved. “Everyday Use”, written by Alice Walker, is another short story that shows how substantial it is to stand firm for one’s convictions and beliefs, especially in familial matters. Mama, the protagonist in “Everyday Use”, must make the decision of protecting her self-conscious daughter Maggie, or giving in to Dee, her other egocentric daughter who has forgotten the traditional values of
…show more content…
Infrequency rather than frequency triggers the events that occur in the A&P grocery store. The sexually appealing nature of the girls provokes Sammy’s carnal appetite and engenders rebellious feelings towards conformity as well. This allows him to realize that his life has been tailored to that of the mundane lives of the other A&P employees and customers. However, this epiphany leads Sammy to act impulsively when the girls are being admonished for their revealing attire by Lengel. Lengel, the conventional and austere store manager, further embodies the conformity that surrounds Sammy as Lengel reprimands the girls for wearing bathing suits in a grocery store. As Sammy sees his manager embarrassing the girls, Sammy has the choice of being a “sheep” or breaking out of the conformed structure of the A&P store, such as the girls has done. Sammy is refreshed by the uniqueness the girls bring, and he also wants to be part of that. This shows that he wants to protect what the girls and what they represent, which is contrast to conformity. Sammy ultimately decides to defend the girls’ honor by quitting his job, and thus makes the statement of not being a “sheep” that is mindlessly led by society. Although this decision was driven partly by carnal feelings, it was primarily out of impulse and curiosity of what lies beyond the restricted borders of normalcy in the A&P grocery store. Even though Sammy quit his job for the girls,
Open Document