Comparing A&P by John Updike and Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning

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Comparing A&P by John Updike and Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning In John Updike's short story, "The A&P", he writes of an eighteen-year-old cashier who is infatuated with three girls that enter the store and in Robert Browning's poem, Porphyria's Lover, He writes of a man's intense passion for his lover. Even thought these two works are different in context, they have very striking similarities. Updike's narrating main character, Sammy, is plagued by middle class monotonous life style. He shows his possessive, but spontaneous side as he describes the girls in the story with great detail and enthusiasm. Browning's narrating main character, a man unnamed is plagued by his deeply devoted love for his mistress and their inability…show more content…
He places himself in their living room as if to poke fun because his life is no better. The girls obviously have more class than anything in the store, and he is envious because he can not differentiate himself from the rest of the classless customers who frequent the store. Throughout the story, Sammy shows how boring and repetitive his life is, and seeing the girls enter the store is a refreshing sight. He refers to the customers as "Sheep" or women with numerous children and "varicose veins" covering there legs. He even refers to them as a "with "no eyebrows", who if was born earlier would have burned "over in Salem" . He sees these patrons as numbed into mechanical repletion, believing that if he set off dynamite that most of them would " keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists" as if nothing ever happened. Sammy is sickened at the loss of divergence of customers, and himself for the daily mind numbering repetitiveness that plagues everyday life at the A&P. His only liveliness at work is the song he hears when ringing out customers " hello there, you hap-py pee- pul". This song and the ability to dehumanizes his customers make Sammy's life seem a little bit better. The anger and disgust show how he views the pitiful town folk who waste their lives away as he does. Sammy shows the reader his domineering and perceptive side as his description of each girl borders on rude but comical. He is able to pick out the "

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