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Affirmation of Adulthood in John Updike's A&P Essay

Assignment id 1012693
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 2768
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Affirmation of Adulthood in Updike's A&P Researching John Updike's story, "A&P", I found lots of subscribers agreed that the principal character Sammy is viewed as a hero or martyr for stopping his job in an A&P shop in a northern beach town. I did, however, find that critics whined on why Sammy stopped. Initially it appears that Sammy quits his job to impress girls who have been looking forward to wearing bathing suits in the A&P.     Sammy didn't ultimately quit his job to be the protagonist for three women who happened to walk in to this A&P. This is not just a story about a nineteen-year-old man hoping to impress a bunch of girls by quitting his job, however it is also a narrative describing in detail the afternoon this nineteen-year-old realizes that occasionally, in the transition from boyhood to maturity, one must have a stand and finally follow through with this confirmation of adulthood. From the start of the story Updike "uses Sammy's youth and unromantic descriptive powers" to show his immaturity and clear boyish character (Uphaus 373). We see this at the opening line of this narrative: "In strikes three women in nothing but bathing suits" (Updike 1026). Even the voice of Sammy is quite "familiar and colloquial" (Uphaus 373). A lot of the info that Sammy dominates about the 3 girls is sexually illustrative in a nineteen-year-old boy way: "along with a candy broad looking can [rear] together with these 2 crescents of white under it, where sunlight never seems to strike" (Updike 1026). It's clear that Sammy appears at the three women who happen to wander in the A&P just as objects of lust or possibly boyish desire. Therefore, on the outside it is easy to take this narrative as that of a boy who'd do something like quit his job to "impress" those girls. It is even.

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