A&P, By John Updike Essay

762 words - 4 pages

The first line of the story, “A&P, by John Updike, “In walks three girls in nothing but bathing suits”; (230) sets the tone for the rest of the story. The remainder of the story is a description of how the main character Sammy, views not only the three girls in the bathing suits , but the rest of the women that are portrayed in the story. The main character of the story is a young guy, in the early 1960s, who is working at a grocery store when these three young women walk in. He describes how they were scantily clad and walking around the store, and the reactions of the others in the store, including himself, his co-workers, his manager and other patrons. This story is about how a ...view middle of the document...

She is the one he considers to be the most attractive of the girls, and the leader of the group. When she pulled out her money to pay for her purchase, Sammy talked about how he slowly un-creased the bill. It was retrieved from what he described as the “nicest two scoops of vanilla he has ever seen” (230); making reference to the queen’s breasts. He also describes her bathing suit being off her shoulders, and that there was “nothing between the top of her suit and the top of her head but her”; alluding to more nakedness than is already apparent. He also shows that she must have felt him watching, but “didn’t tip” (231); denoting she was unaffected by his and the others gawking.
Sammy talks about the rest of the women shopping and refers to them as “house slaves in pin curlers”: as they too were also noticing the three girls in their swimsuits. He thinks that it is acceptable for young girls to walk around in bathing suits in the grocery store, but women in town usually put on shorts and shirts before getting out of their cars. Furthermore, these are usually “women with six...

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