Devotion And Desire In Updike's A&P

848 words - 3 pages

Rocha PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1
Carlos RochaMs. Yvonne GuerreroENG 1320.3112/12/2010Devotion and Desire in Updike's A&PAlmost everyone has aspirations and goals that they want to attain sometime during their lifetime. One common goal is making more money, but wanting and desiring something are very different things. While wanting to make more money is a simple goal, the real desire behind it is more security and freedom. The power of desire speaks to peoples' subconscious, influences their actions, and ultimately directs their lives, as is used by John Updike as a theme in his short story A&P. Another theme explored in A&P is the mystery of others minds. As human beings, we are constantly making observations of others out of curiosity and the need to understand others. This need to analyze others is actually rooted in our need to evaluate and understand ourselves. Consequently, people make decisions based on their perceived mindset of others. The narrator, Sammy, decides to quit his menial job because he wanted a better life for himself, although initially it was only to impress a girl. In the short story A&P, John Updike uses themes like the power of desire and the mystery of other minds to convey a young man's (accidental) realization of his greater goals in life.Throughout the story, there is a major focus on Sammy's observations of others. Updike's uses these observations to make the reader feel as if though this could be their story, their thoughts, and their decision. Sammy seems to have most of the other characters figured out, except the girls in the bathing suits. The girls represent a true mystery of others' minds. Not until he actually hears one of the girls speak does he get a better sense of their background. "All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room," Sammy narrates. He then compares the girl's apparently affluent family with his own. While the girl's family would host adult's in "ice-cream coats and bow ties … holding drink the color of water with olives," his family would be serving "lemonade and … Schlitz in tall glasses," to their guests (Schlitz is a cheap light beer originating from Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Sammy's ensuing decision to quit his job to impress the girls at the supermarket is Updike's way of highlighting the importance of the mystery of other minds, and the decision we make based on our assumptions. This is best exemplified in the line, "Policy is what the kingpins want. What...

Find Another Essay On Devotion and Desire in Updike's A&P

John Updike's A&P Essay

1080 words - 4 pages 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

A Dynamic Character in John Updike's "A&P"

579 words - 2 pages Sammy: A Dynamic Character in John Updike's "A&P"In John Updike's "A&P", the main character, Sammy, becomes the story's narrator. Sammy is a typical nineteen-year-old man, working a boring, dead end job as a grocery store cashier in a lower middle class town. His only role models are Stokesie, a twenty-two year-old man doing the same job as Sammy, trying to support a family, and Lengel, his manager, who most likely some years earlier

The Turning Point in John Updike's A & P

1143 words - 5 pages The Turning Point in John Updike's A & P John Updike's short story "A & P" reveals nineteen-year old Sammy, the central character, as a complex person. Although Sammy appears, on the surface, as carefree and driven by male hormones, he has a lengthy agenda to settle. Through depersonalization, Sammy reveals his ideas about sexuality, social class, stereotypes, responsibility, and authority. Updike's technique, his motif, is repeated again

Truth about Sammy in John Updike's A&P

1199 words - 5 pages The Truth about Sammy in A & P    At first glance, Sammy, the first-person narrator of John Updike's "A & P," would seem to present us with a simple and plausible explanation as to why he quits his job at the grocery store mentioned in the title: he is standing up for the girls that his boss, Lengel, has insulted. He even tries to sell us on this explanation by mentioning how the girls' embarrassment at the hands of the manager

From Childhood to Adulthood in Updike's A&P

1370 words - 5 pages From Childhood to Adulthood in Updike's A&P Sammy is stuck in that difficult transition between childhood and adulthood. He is a nineteen-year-old cashier at an A&P, the protagonist in a story with the same name. John Updike, the author of "A&P," writes from Sammy's point of view, making him not only the main character but also the first person narrator. The tone of the story is set by Sammy's attitude, which is nonchalant but frank--he

Examples Of Rebellion In John Updike's A & P

721 words - 3 pages Examples of Rebellion in John Updike's "A& P" In "A & P" John Updike develops a theme of rebellion by introducing us to Sammy, a young grocery store checker with a rebellious attitude. It is through Sammy's thoughts and comments that Updike clearly shows us examples of rebellion. Starting with comments of disdain and disrespect for his customers, Updike leads up to the ultimate act of rebellion when Sammy quits his job. Updike cleverly

John Updike's A&P and Edgar Allan Poe's Black Cat

856 words - 3 pages There are numerous ways to write a story. It is up to the author how he/she wants to portray their story and write in specific tones that reveals to the reader whether it is meant to be read dripping with distain, or read in a gleeful way. In both Updike's A&P and Poe'sThe Black Cat, the use of language in these stories largely determine the impression the reader obtains about the main characters. In both of these short stories, they are

Affirmation of Adulthood in John Updike's A&P

1021 words - 4 pages ultimately quit his job to be the hero for three girls who happened to walk into this A&P. This is not just a story about a nineteen-year-old guy trying to impress a group of girls by quitting his job, but it is also a story describing in detail the day this nineteen-year-old realizes that sometimes, in the transition from boyhood to adulthood, one must take a stand and ultimately follow through with this affirmation of adulthood. From the

Motif of Play in John Updike's A&P

1094 words - 4 pages The Motif of Play in A & P    In the short story "A & P" the author, John Updike, uses the motif of play as one of the main means by which he develops the character of Sammy, the nineteen-year-old narrator and protagonist of the story. In his many and varied references to play, Sammy reveals, along with his obvious immaturity, his rich imagination and potential for possible growth. The story takes place in the summertime of 1960 on a

Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" and John Updike's "A & P"

920 words - 4 pages page is in MLA format.“Everyday Use and A & P”Updike’s “A & P” and Walker’s “Everyday Use” both use a first person perspective to introduce the conflicts each narrator must address. Each story’s conflict centers around social status and culture as well as moral character. In “A & P”, Sammy must decide whether he should stand up for what he believed is right and reject his boss’

Comparison of the sacrifices characters make in Ambrose Bearce's "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" and John Updike's "A & P"

1340 words - 5 pages Bridge" and "A & P" the protagonist sacrifices something that has a profound impact on his life, but the results of their actions are vastly different.John Updike develops Sammy, from "A & P" in such a way that the reader senses that his frustration will eventually consume his reason, and that all he is missing is the spark to set off his anger. The only thing we know for sure about Sammy's beliefs is that he hates the atmosphere of A

Similar Essays

Sammy And The Setting In John Updike's "A&P"

894 words - 4 pages John Updike's "A&P" is about a boy named Sammy, who lives a simple life while working in a supermarket he seems to despise. As he is following his daily routine, three girls in bathing suits enter the store. The girls affect everyone's monotonous lives, especially Sammy's. Because the girls disrupt the routines of the store, Sammy becomes aware of his life and decides to change himself. Before the girls enter the store, Sammy is unaware that

Comparing Updike's A&P And Joyce's Araby

1382 words - 6 pages Comparing Updike's A & P and Joyce's Araby           John Updike's A & P and James Joyce's Araby share many of the same literary traits. The primary focus of the two stories revolves around a young man who is compelled to decipher the difference between cruel reality and the fantasies of romance that play in his head. That the man does, indeed, discover the difference is what sets him off into emotional collapse. One of the main

Symbolism In John Updike's "A & P"

1450 words - 6 pages John Updike's short story "A & P" recounts how an adolescent supermarket cashier named Sammy has his life changed forever when three girls in bathing suits shop in the store where he works. He is the first person narrator who shapes the tale with his descriptions, attitudes and opinions. He is the protagonist who grows up quickly in a single day and the only round, fully developed character in the tale. As you proceed through the story and

John Updike's "A & P" Essay

555 words - 2 pages "A & P"At first glance, John Updike's "A & P" seems to vividly describe inconsequential events that occur in a small town grocery store. Tony Saldivar posits that Updike used his artistic background to aid Sammy's description of the girls, especially "Queenie", to embody his sexual desires into his own personal Venus (Saldivar); while, Robert Peltier posits that Updike used the then-current social and cultural aspects to create, "an