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John Updike's 'A & P'

            John Updike's "A & P," is a story about a young man named Sammy and his trials at work. Three girls walk into the store and the entire time, Sammy is checking them out and critiquing their bodies. He does not seem to particularly enjoy his work or even the people he works with. At the end of the story, Sammy's frustration causes him to impulsively quit his job; what led to this decision was his hatred of work, impressing the girls, and not going back on his word.
             If you read this story, you can easily infer that the young man doesn't seem to enjoy his job too much. In the beginning of the story he is complaining about the old lady he is ringing up, "She's one of the cash register watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, I know it made her day to trip me up," (18). Sammy says this because she informed him that he had rang her up twice for an item. I can see why Sammy would be frustrated; he felt as if she wanted him to make a mistake. But being a cashier is not a very difficult job. Sammy's only real responsibility is to ring up the items as is, as well as to ensure the happiness of the customers. However, Sammy acts annoyed and almost angry with the woman for correcting his mistake, which shows his lack of patience.
             Sammy never seems to have anything good to say about his boss, Lengel. When Lengel comes out and is introduced for the first time in the story, Sammy says, "then everybody's luck begins to run out. Lengel's pretty dreary, teaches Sunday school and the rest but doesn't miss much," (21). He clearly resents his boss for simply doing his job.
             Working in the A&P doesn't bring much excitement to the nineteen year old, until three girls in bikinis catch his attention. The minute they all walk in he criticizes the first two, "there was this one chunky one with a two-piece, and one with black hair that didn't quite frizz right and a chin that was too long.

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