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Free Example of A and P Essay

John Updike’s “A&P” is an ironic short story written in 1961 and is narrated in the first person by the main character, Sammy. He is a teenager who describes a situation where three girls dressed in swimsuits walk into “A&P” grocery where he works as a cashier. His work entails daily ringing of customers for purchases; a job, he says, is quite boring. Girls’ entry into the store distracts him and he even forgets he had ring up for a box of crackers.  Although he does not wish to ogle sexually at the girls, Sammy is drawn by the girls, especially those who he calls ‘queen’. He believes that it takes courage for girls to come into a grocery store in swimsuits. Also, Sammy notices that other members of a staff at the store were also ogling at the girls despite being older than them. This makes Sammy to pity the ‘poor’ girls. Also, his boss, Lengel blames the girls for dressing improperly; this act embarrassed them. After serving the girls at the store, Sammy quits his job in protest. Unfortunately, the girls did not even notice his ‘gentleman’s’ act.

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Throughout the story, the main character Sammy is developed gradually in line with events, which have been unraveling at the store. At first, Sammy is concerned about some issues that affect him (his job) and he is not willing to take any action. As the story progresses, Sammy is forced to take action to change his present situation resulting in changes of character at the end of the story.  It is evident from the story that Sammy is not happy working at the store because he has distaste for customers whom he refers to as sheep (Kennedy & Dana, 2007). Also, he is unhappy to work with Stokesie who always stucks up because he has a family to take care of. Sammy believes that he is going to stay there for the rest of his life, something he did not want for himself. After serving the girls at the store, he quits his job, an action that changes his character as the story ends. Initially, he was adamant to take any action; at the end he takes his fate into his own hands. 

Code: writers15

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