A Chauvinst With A A Dream ("A&P", By John Updike)

658 words - 3 pages

In John Updikes's short story "A&P", Sammy serves as the 'male chauvinist' character, providing explicit descriptions of woman. On a Thursday afternoon in the summer, this young supermarket checkout boy, uses the innocence of three young girls to acquire his aspiration for a better life.From the very beginning of the story we are served with the perception on how Sammy views women, "...nothing but bathing suits."(89) The one girl to catch his attention first was the chunky one with a two-piece plaid bathing suit on that showed off her "sweet broad soft-looking can", he even noticed parts of her body "where the sun never seems to hit."(89) His next target was "Big Tall Goony-Goon" (93) whom he says "never quite makes it" (90). Queenie, his favorite looking is described as having "the two smoothest scoops of vanilla" he has ever ...view middle of the document...

In his recounting of the grocery store, only men were presented as workers, making them the only ones to be able to provide financial needs. Also, you see his view of woman by him sharing that his mother ironed his white shirt, this shows how he perceives a females' role in the household.Throughout the story you can see how Sammy is already bored with his dead end job. He realizes that he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life working at an A&P competing for the store manager's position or end up "dreary" with "that sad Sunday-school-superintendent stare" like the current manager, Lengel (92). The everyday people of the town do not live exciting lives either, they are located just "north of Boston" and "haven't seen the ocean for twenty years" (91).While Sammy rings up "Kingfish Fancy Herring snacks" for the girls he begins to daydream of what it would be like to be in their living room, "....men standing around in ice cream coats and bow ties and women in sandals." Sammy would much have those women then the "usual woman with six children and varicose veins". He then begins to think about his parent's current social class by what they serve at cocktail parties. And, in turn, he thinks about what he will be serving, if he stays at the A&P, "When my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses..." (92) Sammy would much rather have "herring snacks on toothpicks" and "drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them" (92).As Lengel embarrasses the girls about their indecent attire, Sammy is sees opportunity to quit his dreaded job. He uses the girls as an excuse and scapegoat, and he "don't think it's so sad." As he steps outside, he looks around for the girls, but they are gone. Sammy did not want to live an ordinary mediocre life, life like the others in town. He utilized the girl's presence to his advantage, and is now faced with a world of opportunities.

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