"One advantage to this scene taking place in summer, I can follow this up with a clean exit, there's no fumbling around getting your coat and galoshes, I just saunter into the electric eye in my white shirt that my mother ironed the night before, and the door heaves itself open, and outside the sunshine is skating around on the asphalt.
I looked around for my girls, but they"re gone, of course.
In the short story, "A & P," John Updike's character, Sammy, transforms from an adolescent, who knows very little about life, to a young man with a long, rough road ahead of him. Sammy's unhappiness with his job is portrayed throughout the whole story with his negative comments and referring to the customers as "sheep" and "cash-register-watchers." This quotation is essential because it depicts Sammy's happiness as he leaves the A & P knowing that he will never return as an employee.
This passage occurs after Sammy tells his boss, Lengel, that he no longer wants to work at the A & P. He refers quitting his job as a "scene" because he knows everyone is watching. On the other hand, Sammy is sure to make a "clean exit" trying not to call too much attention on himself as he "saunters" out the door. The verb "saunter" describes how relaxed Sammy was as he strolls through the electric door. "The door heaves itself open" stresses the tremendous sacrifice Sammy takes by walking out the door. Once outside, Sammy sees the "sunshine is skating around on the asphalt." In this excerpt, the sunshine is representing all the opportunities that await Sammy. However, the asphalt represents all the responsibilities Sammy will face. "I [Sammy] looked around for my girls" states the girls as if they were Sammy's property. Since Sammy went to such extremes for the girls, he is now referring to them as his. The girls were gone once Sammy reached the parking lot, but Sammy knew they would be. The phrase "of course" verifies that he knew the girls would not be waiting on him.