John Updike's A&P Essay

1355 Words6 Pages
Winners Sometimes Quit

Try and remember what it was like to be a teenager. The short story “A&P” tells the coming of age story of a nineteen year old boy named Sammy. Sammy has unknowingly placed himself into a situation that many small town adolescents often fall victim to. Sammy has a dead end job, and he feels as though he will be stuck working at the local “A&P” while life passes him by. This is until a chance encounter with three young female customers changes his course from mini vans and diapers to a welcomed new and uncertain future. After a close examination of the text, Sammy doesn’t quit his job because of the girls, he quits knowing that a dead end job is not what he is meant for.
Sammy is a normal teenage boy in many
…show more content…
I mean, it was more than pretty” (16).
Sammy is obviously intelligent and is able to describe his thoughts so eloquently; it’s as if the reader is looking through a peephole in his mind. The first time Queenie speaks, he offers up an inner thought, “Her voice kind of startled me, the way voices do when you see the people first, coming out so flat and dumb yet kind of tony, too, the way it ticked over “pick up” and “snacks.” All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room”. (18) This brilliant passage is not a random thought of a normal grocery store clerk with no education or ambition. It is the voice of a scholar who hasn’t yet found his true calling.
While the three girls are making their way though the store, a less analyzed character is introduced to the reader. Stokesie is a young man that works in the check-out stand next to Sammy. Even though he is often over looked, Stokesie is one if not the most important character in the story besides Sammy. Sammy even says himself “Stokesie’s married, with two babies chalked up on his fuselage already, but as far as I can tell that’s the only difference.........He thinks he’s going to be manager some sunny day, maybe in 1990 when it’s called the Great

More about John Updike's A&P Essay

Get Access