One-page Personal Response on A & P - The Significance of Symbols in John Updikes A&P Based on\"A&P by John Updike it makes effective use of symbols

One-page Personal Response on A & P - The Significance of...

This preview shows page 1 out of 1 page.

The Significance of Symbols in John Updike’s “A&P” Based on "A&P" by John Updike, it makes effective use of symbols to reveal Sammy’s thinking throughout this story. One of the symbols in this story is bathing suits. The story starts with the three girls just wearing their bathing suits walk into A&P. “In walks these three girls in nothing but bathing suits” (1). Thus, the bathing suits attract attention to the girls’ sexuality, which Sammy immediately remarks of. These attires are so different with the regular attire of the “sheep” and housewives who enter the store. The bathing suits the girls wear symbolizes the freedom that the girls show without follows the social rules of the small town. In spite of that, Sammy thinks that the girls’ attires are very exciting because the girls break the norms of social conduct. After Sammy quits his job, he undresses his regular uniform that puts his place in the system. However, the freedom of the girls still unavailable to him. Sammy ends up alone at the parking lot, in a white shirt, wondering what to do next. “…my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” (32). Next, the symbol in this story is the Herring Snacks. Queenie explains to Sammy that she is buying the Hearing Snacks in the Pure Sour Cream for her mother. Then, Sammy assumes Queenie’s family comes from higher socioeconomic class. “My mother asked me to pick up a jar of herring snacks” (16). The herring snacks symbolize a fancy item in the shop. He learns to know about people's economic and social class based on the things that they buy at the store. He contrasts it with his own family’s perspective, where fancy means beer glasses. “When my parents have somebody over they get lemonade and if it's a real racy affair Schlitz in tall glasses with "They'll Do It Every Time" cartoons stenciled on” (14). Finally, Sammy realizes that this difference of class contributes to presentiment that Sammy feels about his own future.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture