A&P by John Updike and Araby by James Joyce Essay examples

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The two stories I chose are A&P by John Updike and Araby by James Joyce. Both stories tell a tale of social and philosophical differences of middle class adolescent boys, when compared to the adults in the stories.

In the short story A&P by John Updike, the story is told in a first person narrative of a teenage boy working as a cashier in an A&P grocery store on a hot summer day. The story begins with the teenage boy named Sammy becoming preoccupied by a group of three teenage girls that walk into the grocery store wearing bathing suits. Sammy admires the girl's beauty as most nineteen year old adolescent boys would, in a slightly lewd and immature nature. His grammar is flawed and he is clearly not of an upper-class family, his
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Sammy philosophical differences first show in his feeling sorry for the girls at the way McMahon, the butcher had leered at them, even though Sammy himself was guilty of the same lewd conduct. I believe Sammy thought it acceptable for him to leer at the girls, but not for old McMahon because of the difference in age between Sammy and McMahon. Sammy's philosophical differences culminate with him quitting his job because of the way his boss, Lengel, treated the girls. Even though Lengel states its the store policy and it applies to everyone, Sammy views this as unfair treatment of the girls and uses this to take a stand for his beliefs and quits. Sammy realizes the magnitude of his philosophical decision when he walks out and finds the girls are gone and nothing has changed. Sammy realizes he has made a choice and he must stick to that choice even though nothing has changed. The decision he made was his choice based on his personal belief of right and wrong, even if Mr. Lengel and his parents couldn't understand that.

In the short story Araby by James Joyce, the story is told in a unnamed first person narrative of an adolescent boy who is infatuated with the
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