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Analysis Of Sammy In "A&P"

            The story of "A & P" takes place in the 1960's in an average sized town in Massachusetts. It centers on a young man named Sammy who is partaking in a seemingly ordinary day of work when three young ladies walk into his store wearing only bathing suits. The girls intrigue Sammy and bring suspense and controversy to an otherwise dull scene in an A & P market. Sammy's opinion of the girls and the A & P go hand-in-hand, off setting each other, as he paints a black and white picture of a grocery store intruded upon by three wondrous strangers of vibrant color. The contrast illustrates the generation gap very effectively. The girls give Sammy an opportunity to express his typical 19-year-old mind-set and pessimistic views of his surroundings in an almost rebellious manner, exposing his desires for a more stimulating lifestyle. Sammy illustrates these outlooks in his portrayal of the girls, the customers, and lifestyle of the townspeople.
             Sammy's attitude towards the girls is that of any typical 19-year-old male. He is very critical of their bodies and takes close notice of their beauty as well as their flaws. He is especially drawn to the girl he refers to as "Queenie". He views her as the leader of the group and describes her in an admiring and lustful way calling her "more than pretty" and making a reference to "the two smoothest scoops of vanilla- her chest.
             Sammy's depictions of the girls are chauvinistic at times, which relays back to his being a lively young man. It is this intrigue with Queenie, borderline infatuation even, which ultimately determines the outcome of the story.
             His portrayal of the older customers illustrates the dogmatic routine of the townspeople and his contempt for them. Sammy refers to the customers as sheep, which indicates that he thinks they are mindless and unable to think for themselves. His descriptions of them give the story a dreary feel, which in due course clashes with the enthusiasm sparked by the three girls.

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