Preview
Preview

Rebellious to Responsible in John Updike's A&P Essay

:: 8 Works Cited
Length: 2044 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The lives we live today encompass many moral aspects that would not have been socially acceptable fifty or more years ago. John Updike’s short story, A&P, addresses these issues of societal changes through a 1960’s teenager point of view. This teenager, Sammy, spends a great deal of his time working at a local supermarket, observing customers, and imagining where his life adventures will take him. Through symbolism and setting, Updike establishes the characters and conflicts; these, in turn, evolve Sammy from an observational, ignorant teenager, promoting opposition to changing social rules, into an adult who must face reality.
This short story, first published in 1961, stirs up controversy and still continues to be debated today. Although Updike intends for his writing to be simple and enjoyable, he also includes literary and cultural knowledge of the time period for readers to analyze more deeply (Saldivar N. pag.). As with A&P, Updike injects religious faith, which few Non-Catholic writers attempted during this time, in a seemingly effortless way. The supermarket A&P, the main setting of the story, was positioned “right in the middle of town” (Updike 983); a prime position accessible to all, although, generally this position was reserved for the town’s place of worship. In a way, Updike implanted this detail to be ironic. The supermarket in his story represented a “temple of modern consumerism” and was replacing a temple of worship (Wells N. pag.). To create a story that was relevant to the 1960’s, yet still encompasses issues society currently faces, demonstrates Updike’s genius ability to engage in the enthralling world around him.
The story begins through Sammy, the narrator, working at the local A&P supermarket. He not...


... middle of paper ...


..., 1994. Literature Resource Center. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.
• Porter, M. Gilbert. "John Updike's 'A & P': The Establishment and an Emersonian Cashier." English Journal 61 (Nov. 1972): 1155-1158. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 27. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.
• Saldivar, Toni. "The Art Of John Updike's "A & P." Studies In Short Fiction 34.2 (1997): 215. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2012.
• Thompson, Corey Evan. "Updike's A & P." Explicator 59.4 (2001): 215. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2012.
• Updike, John. "A&P." Thinking and Writing About Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001. 981-86. Print.
• Wells, Walter. "John Updike's `A&P': A Return To Araby." Studies In Short Fiction 30.2 (1993): 127. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Apr. 2012.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Sammy as a Representation of a Misunderstood Generation in A&P by John Updike - ... You could see them, when Queenie's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed.” (Updike 19) Our character is absorbed by girl’s presence, specially their leader, a young woman named by him Queenie, a nice and attractive upper class girl, by watching her every move, the girl making his heart pounding “She kept her eyes moving across the racks, and stopped, and turned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron, and buzzed to the other two, who kind of huddled against her for relief, and they all three of them went up the cat-and-dog-food-breakfast-cereal-macaroni-rice-raisins-seasonings-spr...   [tags: sexuality, sheep, class]
:: 1 Works Cited
747 words
(2.1 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Raymond Carver with Cathedral and John Updike with A&P Essay examples - Raymond Carver with “Cathedral” and John Updike with “A&P” “Cathedral” and A&P both short stories written during the same century. But even though they both introduce stereotypical characters that somehow change their view of the world, they have many more different aspects. The stories differ in atmosphere and the quantity of people involve in each story. The story “Cathedral” only took place in a family house with only the husband, wife who can be qualified as a static character tried to kill herself in the past, and finally the blind man....   [tags: Stories, Literary Analysis, Comparisons]
:: 3 Works Cited
992 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Sammy: A Follower or a Leader Essay - ... By giving us the full description he connects us-the readers- to the story. Seeing the herring jar, Queenie came to buy, Sammy automatic creates a difference of social status among them by telling us ” when my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it’s a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with “They’ll Do It Every Time” cartoons stencilled on “ (Updike 20) making him more to be noticed, but in the same time he realizes that by being employee at A&P will never have a chance with Queenie, this did not stop him of being himself and fight for what he thinks is not right....   [tags: John Updike, A & P, short story analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
905 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A & P, by John Updike Essay - The short story “A & P” by John Updike is about a young man’s decision to stand up for others or, in the other characters’ opinions, make a foolish decision by abandoning his responsibility. At first he believes his decision is the right thing, quitting his job for how the girls were being treated. Then when he gets outside of the store, he realizes the world he just left behind, regrets his decision, and begins to question his actions. He starts to overthink what the world has to offer him, making his worldview change from underrating to overrating....   [tags: literary analysis, john updike]
:: 5 Works Cited
1758 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
An Analysis of John Updike's A&P Essay - An Analysis of John Updike's A&P In his short story "A & P" John Updike utilizes a 19-year-old adolescent to show us how a boy gets one step closer to adulthood. Sammy, an A & P checkout clerk, talks to the reader with blunt first person observations setting the tone of the story from the outset. The setting of the story shows us Sammy's position in life and where he really wants to be. Through the characterization of Sammy, Updike employs a simple heroic gesture to teach us that actions have consequences and we are responsible for our own actions....   [tags: A&P Essays JOhn Updike Papers]
:: 3 Works Cited
745 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis Of John Updike's A&P Essay - John Updike's story "A&P" talks about a 19-year old lad, Sammy, who has a job at the local grocery store, the A&P. Sammy works at the register in the store and is always observing the people who walk in and out each day. On this particular day that the story takes place, Sammy is caught off guard when a cluster of girls walk into the store wearing just their bathing suits. This caught Sammy's attention because the nearest beach is five miles away and he could not figure out why they would still be in their suits....   [tags: John Updike] 1531 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about A & P by John Updike - A & P John Updike, one of the most forward-thinking and socially provocative writers of the 50s and 60s, is known for his “incisive presentation of the quandaries of contemporary personal and social life.” (Lawn 529) Updike graduated from Harvard University and wrote for one of the more cutting edge publications like The New Yorker- both are notoriously ahead of their time and harbor controversial ideas. In his short story “A&P”, Updike reveals a young man named Sammy in a society on the brink of a social revolution- one in which a group of girls and an innocent cashier will unknowingly lead....   [tags: A&P John Updike]
:: 1 Works Cited
1259 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P - Critical Analysis of John Updike's A&P John Updike's A&P provides numerous perspectives for critical interpretation. His descriptive metaphors and underlying sexual tones are just the tip of the iceberg. A gender analysis could be drawn from the initial outline of the story and Sammy's chauvinism towards the female. Further reading opens up a formalist and biographical perspective to the critic. After several readings I began seeing the Marxist perspective on the surreal environment of A&P....   [tags: John Updike A&P Essays] 806 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
John Updike's A&P Essay - John Updike's A&P In a small town everything is familiar and often taken for granted. In John Updike’s short story, A&P, the main character, Sammy, discovers a beauty unlike anything he has ever seen in his small town before. Queenie’s simple magnificence so stuns him that he quits his job in her defense. The narrator says: "Around they come, Queenie still leading the way, and holding a little gray jar in her hand. Slots Three through Seven are unmanned and I could see her wondering between Stokes and me, but Stokesie with his usual luck draws an old party in baggy gray pants who stumbles up with four giant cans of pineapple juice (what do these bums do with all that pineapple juice' I've...   [tags: John Updike A&P Essays] 1029 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Sammy in Updike's A&P Essay - The main character in John Updike's short story “A&P” is Sammy. The story's first-person context gives the reader a unique insight toward the main character's own feelings and choices, as well as the reasons for the choices. The reader is allowed to closely observe Sammy's observations and first impressions of the three girls who come to the grocery store on a summer afternoon in the early 1960s. In order to understand this short story, one must first recognize the social climate of the era, the age of the main character, and the temptation this individual faces....   [tags: John Updike]
:: 1 Works Cited
762 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]