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John Updike

Essay by 24  •  April 9, 2011  •  307 Words (2 Pages)  •  851 Views

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In John Updike"s "A&P"', class is certainly an influential part of the story. There is a sense that Sammy is unhappy, feels as if he is lower class, and is yearning for something better. He works at a petty grocery store; where he feels the customers and other employees are lower class. He refers to the women with six children (clearly he is exaggerating here, not every one of these women have six kids) and varicose veins mapping their legs and nobody, including them could care less (Updike 10). He sees these women as bland, unsophisticated woman barely on a step in the social ladder. Secondly, he has low standards for Stokesie, the other cashier. He is sarcastic when he refers to him wanting to be the manager on "some sunny day", maybe in 1990 when it''s called the Great Alexandrov and Petrooshki Tea Company or something." (Updike 9) Bottom line, Sammy thinks that Stokesie will never be good enough to be the manager. Also, it''s very clear that Sammy is not only attracted to ""Queenie"" but may even be a little envious of her social stature. He wants to be like the family he perceives Queenie's to be. He can tell by the way Queenie carries herself and acts that her family is of a higher class than his. They gather together, sophistically dressed, drinking finer drinks. (Updike 14) At the end of the story Sammy quits his job feeling that he is better than the store and everyone in it. He wants to be like Queenie; he admires her. Sammy quitting his job makes him closer to her and at that very moment, he feels as if he''s in the same status as the girls. Unfortunately, because of the class that Sammy is realistically in , things are going to be harder for him.

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