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Sammy Grows into a Mature Young Man

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Sammy grows into a mature young man

In the short story "A & P", John Updike introduces the main character a young teen named Sammy who works at a supermarket in his small hometown. Sammy quits his job because he decided to take up for three girls after his manager Mr. Lengel embarrassed them. Sammy stood up for what he believed in even though he regretted it. Sammy makes it clear that he undergoes many changes as the story unfolds. Sammy goes from being a mannish young teen into a mature adult who regrets taking a stand for what he believed in.

At the beginning of the story, Sammy is being mannish when he starts watching three teen beauties as they walked from aisle to aisle throughout the supermarket looking for herring snacks. Sammy begins to size up each of the three girls. He starts with the first girl by saying, "The one that caught my eye first was the one in the green plaid two-piece" (312). In addition to that, he called her a "chunky kid". He said that the second girl was "striking and "Attractive". The third girl he named "Queenie" she really caught his attention. You could tell she fascinated him because he said, ""She held her head so high her neck, coming up out of those white shoulders, looked kind of stretched, but I didn't mind. The longer he neck was, the more of her there was" (312).

Towards the end of the story as the girls approached the checkout, the manager Mr. Lengel noticed that the girls were only wearing bathing suits. Mr. Lengel then rebuked the girls harshly because they were improperly dressed. Mr. Lengel says to them from this point on when they come into the supermarket they need to be dressed more appropriate. Sammy did not like how Mr. Lengel embarrassed the girls so he felt that he had to stand up for them. Sammy thought he was being a hero for the girls when he yelled, this gesture showed that Sammy has started to become a mature young man.

Burdened with regret Sammy said, "My stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter" (315). Sammy felt he had made a mistake. Now it is going to be hard for him to find another job in his small hometown, and he realizes he took a stand for something that had no effect on no one but himself. However, he got what he wanted he no longer has to work at the supermarket. Sammy learned that he has to be more careful where he should act on his own personal beliefs.

During the story Sammy actions shows his growth for an immature teen to a mature young man. In the beginning, he was mannish like any other young teen at his age. Towards the end, he showed that he was starting the mature stage of his life when he stood up to Mr. Lengel for scolding the girls. At the end, he finally grew up and realized that there are some consequences to his actions.



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