A Step To Adulthood in John Updike's A & P

Essay by juliod8787College, UndergraduateA-, April 2008

download word file, 1 pages 0.0

Downloaded 20 times

"A Step to Adulthood" In John Updike's A & PJohn Updike's "A & P" the reader is given a glimpse into the life of a typical teenage boy working as a checkout clerk in a small town's grocery store. Sammy, the teenage narrator, is amazed by a group of girls who have just walked in the grocery store wearing bathing suits. Sammy is so distracted that he can't remember if he rang up one of the customer's items. As the three teenage girls are walking through aisles Sammy inconstantly appraising there physical features ". . . a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can …" Sammy then notices how out of the three girls there is one who seems to be the leader of the group and therefore aliases her "The Queen".

The narrator uses the word "Sheep" referring to the people in the store following one another and going the same direction as one another, the girls on the other hand, are unique, walking against the usual traffic, going barefoot, and half-naked.

Sammy continues to take advantage of the scenery until time for the girl's checkout. As Sammy is about to scan the items, the store manger suddenly appears disturbed and comments "Girls, this isn't the beach." The manger confronted the girls and commented on there indecent attire and therefore told them to next time cover up or service would be negated. Sammy felt as if the confrontation with the girls was unnecessary, embarrassing and therefore confronted his manager and quit his job on the spot. Thinking that the girls would notice his courage to step up for them, Sammy takes his apron off and heads outside thinking the girls are waiting for him and comes to find that the girls were no longer...