Analysis Of John Updike 's A & P

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There are many ways to analyze a literary work. These ways are called Schools of Criticism or Critical Theories. Schools of criticism occur when groups of readers and critics come together and declare allegiance to a similar core of beliefs. And, when they do, they ask a particular set of question about a literary work. Each different way of analyzing a literary work elicits a different set of questions. A&P, a short story by John Updike, would best be analyzed by using the school of New Criticism and analyzing the journey Sammy, the narrator, experiences throughout the story. The school of New Criticism believes that the work’s overall meaning depends solely on the text in front of the reader. This is the primary way that students are taught to analyze literature in high school, or early in college. Using this school, there are many different elements to evaluate or interpret; including theme, allusion, and point of view. When analyzing the hero’s journey, a reader should look at seven characteristics. By looking at these seven characteristics of the story, the reader will be able to see into the mind of narrator and see what he/she is going through emotionally and physically. The point of using these two techniques to analyze this story is to gain insight into the writers’ and characters’ minds and see what drives them to do what they do. An allusion is a reference to another piece of art work, literature or some other object without directly mentioning what that object
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