The short story titled "A & P" by John Updike can be broken down into a number of components which include; characters, setting, and the plot. However, the most important aspect to look at when analyzing a story is the theme. It is necessary to understand the theme of a story so that one can comprehend the moral that the author is trying to express.
Updike paints a picture for the reader throughout the story to make the reader feel as if they were there. The story consists of a young man, Sammy, working in a small town's grocery store on a warm summer afternoon. The customers that come into the store are mostly old and conservative people. Three girls, described well by Updike, walk into the store and change Sammy's life.
The story seems to show the first stage of his metamorphosis from boy to man. The events that lead up to the point where he finally breaks slowly give the impression that something will happen. The point in the beginning in which the old women bickers at him for adding the same item twice point out that something huge may ensue. .
The point which pushes Sammy over the edge is when his boss comes in to scold the girls for not wearing proper attire for the store policy. This is when Sammy transforms from the boy which his parents once controlled to the new man he becomes. Sammy tells his boss, Lengel, that he quits. When Lengel tells him he doesn't want to do this to his mom and dad, Sammy finally decides its time to grow up and stick up for himself. He tells Lengel that he is done for good and walks out a new man.
Everyone grows up or at least begins to grow up after a specific moment in his or her life. John Updike does a wonderful job of conveying this message to the reader, using great detail of the events that occurred. He shows that Sammy. seemingly controlled by his parents his entire life, finally rebels and escapes that grasp that so firmly held him.