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A & P Summary

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John Updikes A&P Summary

This paper analyzes John Updike's "A&P", which is a character driven story told in the first person by a nineteen year old boy working in a supermarket in the middle of a small New England town. This story defines how the actions of a few skimpily dressed girls and a store manager possibly give the young boy Sammy the motivation to make a stand for his own moral beliefs for the first time.

When the three girls walk in the store in just their bathing suits Sammy is very curious at how they act and interested in the way they carry themselves. He is also attracted to them as the narrator describes their movements in great detail. He does not find the way they are dressed immoral or shocking, rather he finds them daring. He refers to one as the queen of the three, clearly telling the reader that that is the one he most appreciates. The other two girls sort of just follow her around. Sammy is intrigued by this and continues to watch their every move to see what they will do next.

Sammy's married co worker Stoksie and his boss Lengel are also taken back when these women walk into the store. Stoksie makes a few comments to Sammy jokingly saying how he is getting faint. Then walks in Lengel who doesn't believe these girls are dressing appropriately and makes a sarcastic comment to them as they approach the register. These two seem to be having some sort of battle within their own moral beliefs.

After Lengel makes his remark to the young girls the queen takes a stand for herself and comments back to Lengel. Sammy sees this and possibly thinks that she did the right thing and is happy for her. Next Sammy takes a stand for himself; he turns to his boss Lengel and quits his job. Now he may have quit to team up with those girls against the boss for insulting them. Or he more likely seen what the girls did and realized



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