Changes (John Updike's "A&P") Essay

914 WordsFeb 15, 20134 Pages
English 1302.2E1 Changes Breaking away from the traditional is a struggle that contains several sacrifices and consequences. In John Updike’s “A&P,” Sammy is a young teenager who transforms his wishes into reality. At first glance, he seems like a normal teenage boy, but instead he is an observational character who is trying to find a way to stand up for himself. Throughout the story, he undergoes changes to reveal a different outlook for his future. Sammy demonstrates that he is a dynamic character through his views on the regular customers, his reaction to the girls, and in his decision to quit his job. First, the way Sammy sees the regular…show more content…
Next, Sammy’s reaction towards the girls reveals that he is a dynamic character. At the check-out, he notices that three girls walk in the store “in nothing but bathing suits” (18). As the girls head for the aisle, Sammy observes that they are not wearing shoes (19). He begins to check them out and discovers that Queenie has on a bathing suit with the straps down by her arms exposing her “clean bare…chest” (19). As they continue walking, he details how the girls look, from their “chubby berry-faces” to how their hair was not “fizzed right” (19). Sammy makes these vivid observations about the girls to show the reader how they stand out from the normal. The girls represent Sammy’s thoughts and views on how he wishes to escape from the ordinary. By the end of the story, Lengel comes up to the girls and confronts them about the way they are dressed. Queenie starts to blush and feel powerless when she realizes where her place is (22). At that point, Sammy stands up for the girls and quits. The reader can tell that Sammy is going out of his way to defend the girls and for what he believes in. Throughout the story, he wishes to escape and standing up to Lengel was a way. Sammy’s descriptions and bravery reveal that he is changing into someone different than the normal. Most importantly, Sammy demonstrates that he is a dynamic character when he decides to quit his job. By the end of the story, Sammy realizes that he is tired of being surrounded by what is normal.
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