Symbolism In John Updike's A & P

Decent Essays
John Updike’s A&P is set in 1961, North of Boston, inside a grocery store named A&P. The main character is a young man named Sammy around the age 18 or 19 years old. Sammy works inside the grocery store as a clerk. The story starts off with some group young ladies walking into to this grocery store with nothing but a bathing suit on. As Sammy was staring at them he seemed surprised and distracted. He was so distracted that he accidently rang up an item twice. Then the lady he was checking out gave him hell. As he got the lady checked out he sees the girls again and just stares them down. He notices that they don’t have any shoes either. They then keep shopping and Sammy examines each one of them was chunky wearing a two peace that was bright green who had one of them chubby berry faces. Then there was this tall one with black hair sunburn under her eyes with a long chin. Finally, there was the one Sammy called the queen she seems to be the be the leader and the other two were just tagging along. Sammy keeps staring and he…show more content…
John Updike does a great job of making the imagery perfect by going into detail in certain parts of the short story. He makes us imagine the bright green bathing suit and the girl’s body feature (239). He also makes us imagine what Sammy is feeling for example when Sammy states “Queenie puts down the jar and I take it into my fingers icy cold” (241). When he said that I could imagine the feeling of a cold drinking touching my hand in the summer. It was like I could see everything like a movie playing in my head.
I don’t think this story fits in any of the three common themes. The only pattern there is in this short story is people choosing to do something at the wrong time which results in consequences. For example, the girls coming into the grocery are making the wrong chose to wear a bathing suit at that time in the store and then get embarrassed. Then Sammy decides to defend the girls quits for
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