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Sammy in Updike's A&P Essay

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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.
Sammy is a product of his generation. In the 1960s the social climate was changing. The new ideas of the youth were taking over the traditions of their parents. Music and the drug culture began to change the perspective as more people were listening to rock and roll music and experimenting with mind-altering drugs in an effort to free themselves from the strict societal demands of the 1950s. Sammy demonstrates this as he describes his work uniform - the bow tie and apron. This can also be observed when Sammy's manager, Le...


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