The story of "A & P", by John Updike, is about a nineteen-year-old, Sammy, that works as a checker in a grocery store. Sammy hates dealing with the same repetitive motions of his job, by which he creates a fantasy life of each customer to escape the doldrums of his job. He becomes somewhat interested in "Queenie" whom he sees as different, youthful, independent, and individualistic. Queenie entices Sammy by her different appearance and skimpy bathing suits; in which his manager, Lengel, detests their indecency and informs them that they are to wear decent clothing while in the store. Sammy was embarrassed of his manager's actions and tries to be a hero for the girls by telling his manager that he is quitting. Lengel tells Sammy that he should think over what he was going to do because it would affect his future. But Sammy refuses to stay and Lengel accepts his decision as it was. Within Sammy's own mind he was trying to be the heroin of the "victims", until he realized that the girls did not hear him and that he made a stupid mistake of trying to impress them by quitting. The central idea of this story is a moralistic view that as adolescents we are inclined to make impulsive decisions that are sometimes foolish and affect the future. The story, of "A & P", is narrated in first person point of view, with the character, Sammy, depicted as a round and dynamic character.
The protagonist of the story is Sammy who is a round character that can be seen through his thoughts, conversations, and actions. When he observes Queenie, he thinks of her to be independent, youthful, and individualistic. Her independence grabbed Sammy's attention because her friends followed behind her as "she just walked straight on slowly, on [her] long white primadonna legs", and as the "bathing suit[ . . . ]straps were down" it revealed her youthful beauty that he desired, (Updike, 99). The observant thoughts that circulate through his mind illustrate his non-realistic judgmental attitudes of each person that he sees or encounters.