John Updike. who is known for his superb prose manner and the animal inside informations in his narratives. takes mundane undertakings and gives a whole new position to it. Like in “A & A ; P” . which is a narrative from the position of a nineteen-year-old male child working in the check-out procedure line. Even though Sammy is merely an mean male child. something important happens that twenty-four hours at the food market shop. The narrative revolves around Sammy’s journey from adolescence to maturity and his surrender from the occupation at the food market shop marks the major alteration. Even though Sammy’s scruples disagrees with his determination. his demand to get away the humdrum of his life drives him to take it. The writer uses assorted symbols to show a gradual patterned advance into Sammy’s determination in the terminal.
As a teenage male child in a town in Boston in the sixties. Sammy did non hold much traveling on for himself – his duty was to gain some money to pull off the family disbursals. For his he had to work at the food market shop. His colleague Stokesie. who is merely three old ages older than him. is married and has two kids. He hopes to go the director of the food market shop and is the lone other colleague mentioned in the narrative. Sammy evidently feels a strong connexion with Stokesie. as they both oculus the Bikini clad misss together. Besides. he mentions that the lone difference he can state between Stokesie and himself is the figure of old ages they are apart ( Updike 531 ) . But from the tone in which Sammy negotiations about Stokesie. it is easy to see that he does non esteem his colleague as much. Alternatively he feels as though he is looking into a mirror of the hereafter and he lives a life similar to Stokesie’s. Updike’s purpose was to portray Stokesie as the future contemplation of Sammy.
Although when the misss enter the food market shop dressed skimpily. they present Sammy with a whole new universe. Sammy says “you ne’er know for certain how girls’ heads work” . alternatively he imagines it to be “a small bombilation like a bee in a glass jar” ( Updike 530 ) . He observes little inside informations about all of these misss and ranks them on the footing of his perceptual experience. The two misss he gives the place of followings were non given much idea. except for their swim suit colourss and their physique. However. the miss that he ranked as the leader. or the “Queenie” . received most of his attending. Other than the colour of her hair and Bikini. he mentions how “there was nil between the top of the suit and the top of her caput except merely her” ( Updike 530 ) . Besides. he notices that she held her caput so high that her cervix looked stretched. but he did non mind that because that meant “the more of her there was” ( Updike 530 ) . This shows that Sammy is highly intrigued by the misss. particularly Queenie. that the more he could analyze her. the more satisfied he would be. She was something different from his mundane experiences.
The colourss described are important to the subject of the narrative. The misss were described to be have oning plaid viridity. bright green and beige Bikini ( Updike 529. 530 ) . They are presented as a contrast to the dull colourss of the shop. These bright colourss represent a colorful and unknown state. Besides. the floor of the food market shop is a checkerboard green-and-cream. Even though these colourss are close to the colourss of the girls’ bathing suits. the checker board form dissolves the glow of these colourss against the wonder in the misss itself. This was a new event in Sammy’s life.
After all. a food market shop check-out clerk does a occupation such as this largely out of necessity. Obviously Sammy has grown tired of rude clients. He describes one aged female client as “a enchantress about 50 with knave on her zygomatic bones and no eyebrows” ( Updike 529 ) when she caught him swiping one of her points twice. Sammy felt as though it pleased her to rectify him. He imagines people who come shopping at A & A ; P to be sad psyches. He describes some other female clients as “houseslaves in pin curlers” ( Updike 531 ) . Besides. he designates the clients at the food market shop “sheeps” while narrating the narrative. He seems to turn to the herd outlook that people tend to hold – to lodge together when there’s problem. Clearly. he doesn’t look up to this fearful behaviour. He complains about this since the beginning of the narrative. However in the terminal he changes this attitude.
Not merely the clients and Stokesie. but Sammy does non esteem the director either. Although he has ne’er been vocal about it. Sammy mocks Lengel in his caput and accuses him of concealing behind the door labeled “Manager” all twenty-four hours ( Updike 532 ) . This shows Lengel’s gutless personality. When Lengel walks in on the misss look intoing out. he asserts his authorization and lets them know that they must dress suitably in the shop ( Updike 532 ) . It was the last straw for Sammy and he quits his occupation. even after Lengel warns him about it ( Updike 533 ) . Lengel’s warning farther shows that he has ever taken the safer manner and that’s why he has ne’er been able to stand up for his beliefs. Sammy did non desire to be person like Lengel. so he decides to interrupt free.
When Sammy stands up for the misss. a portion of him did anticipate some grasp from them. But the implicit in ground is much bigger than a simple ‘Thank you’ . It is about his freedom from the everyday life style that he was acquiring used to. Continuing the life he had would finally take to the same humdrum life that Stokesie and Lengel had. Besides. Sammy’s class of action alterations through the narrative. In the beginning he would kick about the people he came across and worked with. but he had non of all time taken any measure to alter that. Discontinuing the occupation was the major measure that would alter his life. Although. he may non hold a stable occupation any longer. this determination has decidedly made him a better individual.
Updike. John. “A & A ; P. ” 1961. Approaching Literature: Writing + Reading + Thinking. Ed. Peter
Schakel and Jack Ridl. 2nd erectile dysfunction. Boston: Bedford. 2008. 529-534. Print.