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A&P - Freedom and Free Will

            It is often said that America is the land of the free. While its citizens are entitled to a life of free will, they must also remember that they must be responsible for the actions of their free will. This is a common element in many American pieces, especially A&P by John Updike and Love in La by Dagoberto Gilb. While the short stories A and P and Love in La have two very distinct plot lines and characters, it is through their themes of choice and consequences that a common ground is found between the two. By analyzing the stories individually one will be able to see multiple themes such as freedom and free will but most notably choice and consequence. .
             In the short story A&P by John Updike the main protagonist, a young worker at the local grocery store encounters three pretty girls that gain notoriety throughout the store because of their attire. Their outfits are bikinis and this causes uncomfortableness throughout the store and even prompting a harsh exchange between the manager. Evidence of the impact of the girls bikini's can be seen through the reaction of Sammy's fellow coworker Stokesie saying "Oh Daddy," Stokesie said beside me. "I feel so faint." (Updike 5). Choice and consequence is not apparent in the story until the climax where Sammy decides to quit in front of his boss Lengel. Sammy quits most likely due to the influence the trio of girls had on him. They incited a sense of freedom in him compared to the monotony of the A&P store. He expresses this when he describes the usual customers as "The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle -- the girls were walking against the usual trafficYou could see them, when Queenie's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed" (Updike 5). Everyone in the store is going one way almost as if its tradition. However when the girls come its almost shocking to Sammy.

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