Idealism vs Realism - Idealism vs Realism Idealism The practice of envisioning and pursuing ideals unrealistically Realism The practice of evaluating a

Idealism vs Realism - Idealism vs Realism Idealism The...

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Idealism vs. RealismIdealism. The practice of envisioning and pursuing ideals unrealistically. Realism. The practice of evaluating a situation pragmatically. In the story A&P by John Updike, the main character Sammy is torn between his pursuit of ideals and the reality of a situation. He eventually succumbs to his idealistic point of view and makes a regretful decision. The theme idealism vs. realism is portrayed through the eyes of this particular teenager to illustrate how choices can be influenced by the imbalance perception of idealism vs. realism.The theme of idealism vs. realism is introduced subtly in the beginning of the story. Sammy’s ideals clash with reality the moment he sees three girls walking into the store wearing nothing but bathing suits. That is when Sammy begins to lose the grasp on reality as he “stood there with [his] hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying toremember if [he] rang it up or not. [He rings] it up again and the customer starts giving [him] hell” (131). This shows how his mind is in an opposite world to his situation. Instead of living reality by focusing on his work, Sammy becomes terribly distracted when he fixes his attention on the girls. His ideal activity is obviously girl watching, not checking items out. Idealism vs. Realism is portrayed through Sammy here as it shows how the girls occupy his mind and drags his attention away from his work (reality). The theme is slowly developed further as Sammy gradually begins to

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