Looking back in the big windows, over the bags of peat moss and aluminum lawn furniture stacked on the pavement, I could see Lengel in my place in the slot, checking the sheep through. What the others want is juvenile delinquency. After a while they come around out of the far aisle, around the light bulbs, records at discount of the Caribbean Six or Tony Martin Sings or some such gunk you wonder they waste the wax on, sixpacks of candy bars, and plastic toys done up in cellophane that faIl apart when a kid looks at them anyway.
Still with that prim look she lifts a folded dollar bill out of the hollow at the center of her nubbled pink top.
All that was left for us to see was old McMahon patting his mouth and looking after them sizing up their joints. He notes, for instance, that there are "about twenty-seven old freeloaders" working on a sewer main up the street, and he wonders what the "bum" in "baggy gray pants" could possibly do with "four giant cans of pineapple juice".
The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. Her father and the other men were standing around in ice-cream coats and bow ties and the women were in sandals picking up herring snacks on toothpicks off a big plate and they were all holding drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them.
They keep right on going, into the electric eye; the door flies open and they flicker across the lot to their car, Queenie and Plaid and Big Tall Goony-Goony not that as raw material she was so badleaving me with Lengel and a kink in his eyebrow.
Sammy is left alone with his ambiguous feelings and a growing sense of foreboding about what life has in store for him. Sammy, a young man working the checkout line, watches them closely. Lengel, the old and prudish manager, feels the girls are not clothed appropriately for a grocery store, and admonishes them, telling them they must have their shoulders covered next time, which Sammy believes embarrasses them.
I could feel in the silence everybody getting nervous, most of all Lengel, who asks me, "Sammy, have you rung up this purchase? I fold the apron, "Sammy" stitched in red on the pocket, and put it on the counter, and drop the bow tie on top of it.
Queenie puts down the jar and I take it into my fingers icy cold. He also, however, clearly admires how her inappropriate attire defies convention. I ring it up again and the customer starts giving me hell. In a sudden moment of insight—an epiphany —he realizes "how hard the world was going to be to [him] hereafter" if he refuses to follow conventional paths.
She kept her eyes moving across the racks, and stopped, and turned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron, and buzzed to the other two, who kind of huddled against her for relief, and they all three of them went up the cat-and-dog-food-breakfast-cereal-macaroni-ri ce-raisins-seasonings-spreads-spaghetti-soft drinks- rackers-and- cookies aisle.
As yet another of his coworkers begins to admire the girls, Sammy feels a twinge of pity for them for having compromised themselves this way, most likely without realizing it. Yet when Queenie approaches him at the checkout, Sammy notes that "with a prim look she lifts a folded dollar bill out of the hollow at the center of her nubbled pink top.
From the third slot I look straight up this aisle to the meat counter, and I watched them all the way. Around they come, Queenie still leading the way, and holding a little gray jar in her hand.
Queenie[ edit ] "Queenie" is the name Sammy gives to the gorgeous girl who leads her two friends through the grocery store in their bathing suits. Stokesie[ edit ] Stokesie is a year-old white man who is married with two children. I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not.
He appraises their looks and notes even minute details about the way they carry themselves. I mean, it was more than pretty. A couple customers that had been heading for my slot begin to knock against each other, like scared pigs in a chute.
Lengel sighs and begins to look very patient and old and gray. As the girls begin to leave the store, Sammy suddenly turns to Lengel and quits his job, protesting the way Lengel has embarrassed the girls.
He is a minor character in the story but does show a sign of ritualism; Stokesie often jokes with Sammy that he will not get promoted unless there is a Soviet takeover of the United States within 20 years, but does his job faithfully each day, providing for his wife and kids.
Lengel comes in from haggling with a truck full of cabbages on the lot and is about to scuttle into that door marked MANAGER behind which he hides all day when the girls touch his eye. At the end of the story, he quits his job in an effort to be a hero to the girls and as a way of rebelling against a strict society.
Policy is what the kingpins want. Sammy is particularly interested in the most attractive girl, who appears to be the leader of the group.Video: A & P by John Updike: Summary & Analysis In this lesson, we will review the literary success of John Updike.
We will then summarize his short story 'A & P' and analyze its themes and meaning. Complete summary of John Updike's A&P.
eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A&P. Critical Overview “A & P” is a short initiation story in which the young.
This study guide and infographic for John Updike's A&P offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text.
Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs. A&P and Other Stories study guide contains a biography of John Updike, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
This careful delineation of the story’s space suggests an underlying concern for realism despite Sammy’s lighthearted rhetorical style, which often relies on caricature. SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature.
Keep reading for an expert-written summary and analysis of A&P by John Updike. Table of Contents Summary Summary Part 2 The story “A&P” by John Updike opens with little introduction of the main character, who is, as we [ ].
An Overview of the Story A&P by John Updike PAGES 2.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: a and p, john updike. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
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