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A & P story - Essay Example

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Response paper on “A & P” By John Updike [Professor Number] John Updike’s eminent story “A & P” encompasses and addresses many social, cultural and psychological issues in a brief storyline. Therefore, one can only appreciate Updike’s capability to present tabooed issues and his potential to interweave them in a day’s occurring of a flippant and nonchalant teenage boy (Sammy)…
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A & P story

The literary term under analyse in this essay is “Sheep”. The author has used personification through its usage and has shown the distinction between followers and leaders. Thus, the “sheep” denotes a specific clan of people, who would rather stick to the prevailed norms, rules and under commandment of a leader. Their subordination is mainly due to their pecuniary constrains and also because of their social position in a society. Thus, the author has portrayed their presence mundane in a colloquial tone and through Sammy’s character he has evaluated their presence humdrum and their routine monotonous. Therefore, Sammy as a representative of youth has been depicted as an appreciator of distinction, rebel and change (Porter, p.1155). Hence, he looks at those “sheep” with abhor and abominate their trait of being a subordinate. Subsequently, he observes their apprehension towards revolution, their reluctance and fear for a change, which could havoc their perfectly constructed so called peace. “Sheep pushing their carts down the aisle” (Bishop, p.228) Thus, “sheep” has been used to symbolize conformity without being rational at all. This sheepish trait instilled in the people made them dull, coward and subordinate of superior powers like money, authority and pre-set social norms. Hence, these dominating social authorities of 1960 era have developed and set their (Sheep) course of life and left them with little power of opinion on their own. Therefore, Queeni’s rebellion towards dress code in the A & P grocery store and Sammy’s rebellion towards instinctive relinquishment of his job are prime examples of uproar of revolution. Strokesie and Lengal have also been depicted as “sheep” like, who would think, act, dress and conduct like the rest of the sheep clan. However, they do lure for the different, but do not have the courage to appreciate, encourage or be optimistic about the change. They prefer to stick to their sheep clan as it’s the known and safe path for them. On the other hand, Queenie (the leader) and her two friends; signified on being different, thus, they separated themselves from the others through their bathing suit style and did not shown a hint of embarrassment throughout their walk around the aisles. Updike has used Sammy’s view to portray the customers as sheep too (Kirszner & Stephen, p. 363, 2004). As they walked, flocked, acted, and contemplate in the same pattern like a sheep. They loathed the change and new flock (three girls), but couldn’t keep the awe stricken expressions out of their faces at all. The figurative “sheep” moved up and down the aisles, one behind the other in a similar patron hence, they liked the familiarity and opposed change in any form. Initially Sammy couldn’t help but be a hormone driven boy, who also praised the bare flesh of the three girls like other people in the store, but later in the story he realized his inclination and fascination towards these girls is due to their courage of taking a stand for their individuality. Hence, the author has laid great emphasis on individuality, which further buffs up the freedom to express this trait. Thus, one can clearly ... Read More
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