Free College Essays - Lusting After Ladies at the A&P


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Does lust lead to hardship and emptiness? In this paper (do you mean "this paper" or "John Updike's 'A&P'?) Sammy has a sexual appetite that causes him problems. His worship of a woman's (careful with placement of possessive apostrophe) body causes him to misplace his values and center only on one value. This value is his lustful pleasure he gets when he sees three girls in their skimpy swimsuits. The pleasure he receives outweighs the consequence of emptiness he finally feels after he defends those girls and they do not respond to his pleasurable feelings. Updike in his short story "A&P" uses characterization to illustrate that heroics based upon animalistic sexual appetite, which objectifies women, will lead to a hard and unsuccessful life.

Updike uses the characterization of Sammy to illustrate that animalistic sexual appetite objectifies women. Sammy describes Queenie in a sexual manner when he described (try to avoid using the same word twice in a single sentence; try a synonym--to find synonyms there's a cool thesaurus webcite by Merrium Webster at www.m-w.com; also note that you have shifted from present to past tense here; when writing on art you normally stay in the present tense throughout) Queenie's body and bathing suit. He says (missing the proper punctuation after says; if you kept your Holt handbook you should be able to look up punctuation with quotations) "With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light" (13). (don't forget that MLA style demands that you put the page number of each quote in parentheses immediately after each quote) Sammy describes this as more than pretty. His sexual appetite is geared in not seeing these three girls as people but as objects. Sammy sees these women as icons to lust after just like in an eastern orthodox church where they have icons of Jesus and Mary that you can have as objects to focus on and worship. Sammy in effect is using these women as objects to lust after and thus worship human sexuality. He sees these women as objects of pleasure thus fueling his animalistic sexual appetite. (I have a couple of comments on the preceding passage--which I've colored blue.

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First, it is way too long and repetitive for an application: an application sentence in a paper this short should be no longer than ONE SENTENCE. Second, although you talk repeatedly about your main thesis ideas in this application--which is good, you never mention any key words from the quotation so that your reader never knows exactly how you are getting sexual appetite out of the words of this quote. Probably, in this case you should be explicitly connecting the phrase "clean bare plane...of her chest" to "animal sexual appetite" and "like a dented sheet of metal" to "which objectifies women." Third, it sounds to me like you are also borrowing ideas from something you've read. This would normally be fine except for two important facts: A) this assignment did not ask you to include other people's interpretations--only your own, and much more importantly B) you have not documented these ideas as coming from another source--which would be a form of plagiarism.) (I am going to stop my analysis of your body paragraphs here and see if you can apply the principles I have discussed above--especially those concerning your applications being short, containing key quotation words, and only containing your own ideas--to the remainder of your essay yourself. I will, however, read and make comments on your concluding paragraph.) He describes these women's breasts (specifically Queenie's) as the "two smoothest scoops of vanilla I have ever known where there." Breasts are powerful things and our objects of power. They can be used to attract, seduce, or nourish our young. No wonder why Sammy is looking at these girls sexually as objects because through their pervasiveness they actually got a hold of his sexual appetite thus empowering him to lust even more.

Updike also uses the characterization of Sammy to illustrate his heroics, which are fueled by his sexual appetite. Sammy says, "The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say "I quit" to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unexpected hero." Sammy tries to be a hero to his lustful object of worship by sacrifice. In religion especially in Christianity when people come to Christ some people may give up habits, prestige, wealth, jobs and even family for the sake of their God. Sammy was doing the same he was giving up his job for the sake of his lustful objectified idol "Queenie". He even defended his object of worship by saying, "You didn't have to embarrass then.....I pull the bow at the back of my apron and start shrugging it off my shoulders...[I] t seems to me that once you begin a gesture it's fatal to not go through with it. I fold the apron, 'Sammy' stitched in red on the pocked, and put it on the counter and drop the bow tie on top of it." Many people who find religion will defend their new beliefs, their new God in order to be heroes of the faith and triumph in the next life because they suffered in this life. Sammy was trying to be a hero of his idol "Queenie" by defending her provocative right to feed his animalistic sexual appetite thus inducing his pleasure (which is what motivated him to quit) and hopefully making him a hero of his new found idol.

Updike again uses the characterization of Sammy to illustrate his hard and unsuccessful life. This hard and unsuccessful life occurred when Sammy "look[ed] around for [his] girls, but their gone, of course" Sammy's unsuccessful time with the three girls left him empty handed because he put these girls on a pedestal and worshiped them as Goddesses. He lusted after them and objectified them like men would do when having sex with a temple prostitute in roman times. Sammy felt unfulfilled because he mentally prostituted himself with these women and his mind burned like hot coals scorching his faith to a crisp. Sammy then realized what happens when you have relations with an unresponsive God as he "felt how hard the world was going to be hereafter".

In my essay I used examples from the story to prove that Sammy's animalistic sexual appetite objectifies women. I also proved that Sammy had heroism based upon his sexual appetite. Finally I showed that because Sammy had a sexual appetite he had a hard and unsuccessful life. Therefore I (careful to avoid the first person "I" and second person "you" throughout a formal essay) have concluded that lust does lead to hardship and emptiness.

(This is not quite the structure I taught you for a summary conclusion in Composition, nor is it the structure that you will find at the end of your Intro to Lit essay assignment. What you have done here is taken three sentences to restate your thesis and closed with a final clincher sentence that could be more creative. What you need to do is compact your first three sentences into a single thesis restatement sentence. Then follow this restatement with three sentences, each of which should specifically summarize what you have proven in one of your three body paragraphs (the first summary sentence would summarize the two examples in your first body paragraph, the second summary sentence would summarize the two examples in your second body paragraph and so on). Also remember that your summaries should not just look like topic sentences, but should also contain one-two word references to the specific quotes used in each paragraph. Finally, you could end with your current clincher our try to make it a bit more creative)

Works Cited

Udike, John. "A & P." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 1999. 12-18

 


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