The Transition From Childhood To Adulthood In A & P By John Updike

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In many situations you would never know what will occur and how to get out of that situation but in the end, it will become a lesson learned. The story “A & P” written by John Updike is about a cashier by the name of Sammy who works at grocery store. In the story Sammy and everybody in the store becomes intrigued by the three girls entering the store with their bathing suits on. He quits his job after defending these three girls after they were given comments of disapproval by Sammy’s manager. When readers read the story, they will get an overview on how Sammy feels and what is his thoughts. In the story Updike presents for his readers a transition to childhood to adulthood.

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In many people’s childhoods they experience a hormonal phase, which can trigger a lot of emotions, this phase occurs to Sammy. In “A & P” Sammy works one of his shifts where he notices three girls entering the store with their bathing suits on. This is unusual because they have no cover up on. Not only is this unusual, but in the town where Sammy lives in people do not go out in such a manner unless they do have a cover up. As the story continues Sammy describes all three girls, but he takes liking towards the leader Queenie. Throughout the story readers will notice his liking for Queenie because he describes her more than the rest of the girls and his liking for her triggers many emotions for him. In the story readers notices through Sammy’s thoughts his emotions for Queenie evolves.

Therefore, as Sammy’s feelings for Queenie grow readers begin to have a better understanding on why his thoughts and attitude changes. In the store Sammy begins to have sympathy for the three girls as a customer checks them out. He feels that it isn’t the girls fault and that they could not help the fact that people are staring. As the story continues Sammy’s manager Lengel enters the store and voices his disapproval of what the girls have on. Lengel states to the girls that, “this isn’t the beach”. Lengel’s attitude to the girls shows how close minded he is. Also, his attitude towards them does not sit well with Sammy. Sammy’s attitude shows that he had some remorse for the girls, and he finds that he sympathizes for the girls due to the actions of the people in the store.

As the story develops readers will learn when making decisions that are in the moment, without going through it can be fatal and in the end of the story Sammy realizes this. As the story closes to an end Sammy defends the girls leading to him making a fatal decision of quitting his job. Sammy’s action was in the moment because he wanted the three girls especially, Queenie to notice his bravery, but his action backfires because Queenie nor her friends noticed his action. Sammy does not think over his action, which can land him in big trouble by his parents. He notices that his decision of quitting his job maybe a disappointment to his parents. Although, Sammy states that. “…it seems to me that once you begin a gesture it’s fatal not to go through with it. ” This means that he feels that he cannot back down on his decision, but he seems to second guess himself and his actions. Sammy’s action shows that action speaks louder than words and your actions may end up with consequences.

In conclusion, as people transition from childhood into adulthood they experience certain emotions which is sometimes acted on and people can sometimes realize what wrong they have done. For instance, in the beginning of the story Sammy realizes his emotions for Queenie and these emotions increases to the point where he defends her and her friends, leading to him quitting his job without him thinking of the consequences. As a child you do not realize certain things until you get into adulthood. Overall, everything happens for a reason whether if that reason is wrong or right but, in the end, everybody ends up seeing their mistakes.

31 October 2020

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