A & P by John Updike - Paper

1251 words 6 pages
As people age, maturity and wisdom is gained through every experiences. From the time a child turns eighteen and becomes an adult, they are required to deal with the realities of the real world and learn how to handle its responsibilities. In John Updike's short story, "A&P", the narrator Sammy, a young boy of nineteen, makes a major change to his life fueled by nothing more than his immaturity and desire to do what he wants and because of that, he has do deal with the consequences. From the beginning of the story, it is clear that Sammy does not likes his job, nor is he fond of the customers and people he is surrounded by each day. To Sammy, they are nothing more than "sheep" going through the motions of life. "I bet you could set …show more content…

After leaving the store, Sammy says "I look around for my girls, but they're gone of course" (Updike 619) as though he knew from the beginning that although in his mind it may have seemed like something worth praise, they really wouldn't care at all.
However, Sammy’s quit is more for himself that the girls in the long run, after all if it was really for the girls he would've ceased quitting the moment the girls rushed out and "flicker[ed] across the lot to their car" (Updike 618). However he proceeds even with the negative aspects attached. “ ‘Sammy, you don't want to do this to your Mom and Dad,’ he tells me. It's true, I don't. But it seems to me that once you begin a gesture it's fatal not to go through with it." (Updike 618). Even though he knows this will be difficult for his family he continues to quit. On one hand, he is being mature by not backing down and changing his mind once he realizes the girls are gone, because he is right in that when you make decisions you must follow through with them. However the decision to quit was stupid, drastic, and an immature one to begin with. The story ends with Sammy looking back at Lengel in the store, saying "His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter" (Updike 619). The dark and unappealing imagery he uses to portray Lengel and the store hints that he still views it negatively and he is