Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

John think it’s so sad myself”. It

John Updike’s writing is very detailed however he goes back between present and past tense. It is seems to be very raw and unrevised. He just says things that comes to his mind , for example “Now here comes the sad part of the story, at least my family says it’s sad, but I don’t think it’s so sad myself”. It shows the abruptness as well. I believe this story shows how the society degrade women for showing skin in public places even though it is not a big deal. It shows how the society has to always say something negative for how women present themselves. Sammy sees most adults as followers by calling them “sheep pushing their carts down the aisle — the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything)…” He sees as “sheep” rather than independent thinkers. The story also shows us that he’s willing to think and act differently than the people around him by standing up for the girls. Sammy shows activism by removing his A&P bow tie and apron when he quits, expressing solidarity with the girls and using his clothing. He advocates and takes action by standing up for the girls against the manager since he embarrassed them in front of everybody. In the A&P he works in, reveals conformity and it is the major theme in the story. No one speaks up for the girls and the people are just bystanders of this big issue. The girls just wanted to grab on item from the story and had no other intention. Revealing their shoulders in the grocery store is not something concerning for the manager to yell at them. Because of this , Sammy is angry from seeing the girls humiliated and also frightened about what his act of daring. The people in store symbolize people who just unthinkingly doing what everybody else does. Sheep are symbols of conformity and no originality . However, Sammy wanted a change. He said that he “felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” which implies his act of bravery and advocating for the girls won’t really change anything and would still continue the cycle of conformity. At the end, he was effected because he lost his job. Sammy has learned to tell people’s social and economic class apart from what they buy at the store. The herring snacks are expensive. He contrasts that with his own family, they think beer glasses are expensive. There is a major divide in society throughout the story.


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