A&P by John Updike analysis essay

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At the end of the story "A&P" by John Updike, Sammy says, "I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter." The statement comes across after Sammy decides to leave his job at A&P grocery. After his boss, known as Lengel, roughly confronts the trio girls in a bathing suit who was about to purchase some items at Sammy’s cash-out lane. The reason for this encounter is that Lengel felt these girls were breaking the store’s policy by shopping while wearing the bathing suits. When Sammy is coming up with this statement, he is stranded and thoughtful at a car park outside A&P grocery, and he is thinking deeply about his future. He is well aware, and Lengel has confirmed that he will come to regret about his decision to leave his job. However, Lengel had touched Sammy, where it hurts most. How he ambushed, the three ladies were the most devastating act of unkindness that Sammy experienced.

Additionally, the fact that the most beautiful girl attracted Sammy among the three was also a point of his anger and decision to leave the job. The short but life-changing entry of the three their girls at the A&P grocery and especially the girl Sammy came to call ‘Quenee’ was all he needed in his life. Sammy thought fast about his action and was settled, believing that he was making the right decision. He wished the girls would at least see his effort and maybe come by his side. However, it is disheartening to Sammy and even to the readers when he rushes out and only finds that the girls have already left. It is an embarrassing situation, but Sammy is a strong-willed man who speaks his mind. He does not seem to relent and is foreshowing and thinking about his coming future as a jobless man. 

The Lesson

‘The Lesson’ by Toni Cade Bambara is fascinating and articulate concerning the social inequality among ghetto children in New York City. The use of ‘The Lesson’ as the topic of the story is a creative way through which Toni wants to show the lessons about social classes in society. One unappreciative child known as Sylvia is a know-it-all kid who is playful and tricky. Sylvia believes that she knows everything, and the entire story serves as a great lesson to the kid and seven others. The ideal lesson comes into play when a local teacher, miss Moore makes a plan to take children for a trip. She wants to show the children that there are better and wealthier places apart from their ghetto life. This is because though the children are hopeful of a better future, they have never stepped out of the ghetto. The trip is set through the support of miss Moore and the children’s parents. They visit the mall, and the children come to learn about the city’s expensive life and products. For instance, they come across a paperweight costing $480, a sailboat worth $1 195, and they also see other products such as microscopes. These price tags are a great lesson to the children as they have a lifetime experience of social inequality. The return journey is a thoughtful moment for the children, and one of them, known as Sugar, accepts that lifestyles are indeed different.

Works Cited

Updike. J. A&P. http://brainstorm-services.com/wcu-2004/A&P.pdf

Bambara. T.C, The Lesson. https://lukecart.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/the_lesson.pdf