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A&P by John Updike and Gryphon by Charles Baxter Essay example

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Two stories are brought together “A&P” and “Gryphon” to represent the struggles that every character faces. Sammy the main character in “A&P”, and Tommy the main character in “Gryphon” face a struggle that will put them to the test. For Sammy the struggle is, should he stand up to his boss and defend the girls or should he let it go. Tommy faces the conflict of, does he believe the substitute teacher and defend her against everyone else or does he follow what everybody else is doing. In their stories, Tommy and Sammy are put up against a conflict that they have never seen before, and their “job” is to decide what they should do and how they should approach the problem.
These two stories, although written by two different authors present similarities in the characteristics of the main character. Sammy and Tommy are presented with adversity they had previously never faced. Sammy has to decide should he stand up for the girls by quitting and be the hero or should he mind his own business and keep his job. Sammy is forced to quickly make a decision which his boss Lengel feels he made to rashly. “’I don’t think you know what you’re saying,’ Lengel said” (Updike, pg. 146). For Sammy his decision is what he feels he needs to do and he never regrets his choice. Tommy is faced with adversity of a different kind, he has to decide should he believe the teacher and listen to what she is saying or should he, like the other children, think she is strange and a liar. When she loses her job Tommy is forced to make a decision, confront the child who got her fired, or stay quiet and let the matter slide as it is not his problem. For both the boys their actions could be beneficial to them or it could cause them future problems. An example, if Sammy...


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...cter to a dynamic character when he stands up for the teacher.
Throughout “A&P” and “Gryphon” the two characters found themselves facing a challenge that they had never had to face before. Reading both of the stories has shown that although different adversities were represented in the books they both had challenges and reactions that were similar to each other as well as very different. Sammy’s was about a store called “A&P” where the manager confronted three girls in bathing suits and Sammy had to stand up for them. Tommy’s was about a unique substitute teacher who he quite enjoyed and his journey with her, and his defending her to the other kids when one of the children gets her fired. Together and separately these two dynamic characters make up these unique stories that ensnared their reader with their thoughts, adversity and heroic actions throughout the story.



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