Human Nature in A&P by John Updikes

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John Updlikes, “A&P” is a fictitious narrative that presents an insightful view on some facets of human nature. Our story takes place at an A&P grocery store in a small Massachusetts town. We are taken into the mind of our 19-year old narrator, Sammy, who quickly leaves behind his innocence as a carefree teenager to become a man, with a realistic understanding of being an adult. Throughout this story, Updlike, creates scenes where peoples idealistic views of themselves and social norms, shake the monotonous routine of the A&P. We are then able to observe the internal and external conflicts that the ideal self can create in the world around us. Updike, uses themes in “A&P” to reveal through a carefully selected cross-section of society, how…show more content…
“"We are decent," Queenie says suddenly, her lower lip pushing, getting sore now that she remembers her place,[…]”( Updlike 20). Like Queeine, Sammy, finds himself making choices on this day as well. Sammy, having been fond of Queeine, was more likely than others to understand her feelings of resentment, being lectured by this older man. He seemed to have taken the out lash personal, embarrassed for the girls, despite knowing that their attire had been startling to see in the A&P. Sammy, though, was already at odds with the status of being an adult and its responsibilities that seemed forced down onto everyone at some point. He craved personal freedom and expression to create his own happiness and to avoid falling into the same trap like the other “marrieds” and “sheep”. Those already negative emotions were simply acting as fuel to the fire. Sammy, decided that his way of taking a stand against the repression of expression and freedom was to quit his job. By quitting his job he removed Lengel from power in his life. Sammy, walked out, hoping that Queenie would be impressed by him taking a stand. Instead, Sammy, finds himself alone, jobless contemplating how the world has changed for him. Sammy’s, world was turned upside by the power of sex, which was another strong theme in “A&P”. The three girls certainly caused a stir in the A&P due to their appearance from
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