a&p essay

a&p essay - Many classical works of literature are...

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Many classical works of literature are characterized by powerful albeit simple plot lines that greatly enhaknce the story’s underlying theme. John Updike’s short story A&P is a representative example. There are two interwoven themes in the story: (1) the emergence of hope in a sea of despair, and (2) the loss of innocence of the protagonist. The world in which Sammy lives is a morbid one. Through his eyes, we see his universe as bounded by the aisles of the A&P grocery store where he works. His contempt for the co-inhabitants of his universe is unambiguous. They are “houseslaves in pin curlers …”, and “… sheep pushing their carts down the aisle.” His manager is described as “pretty dreary”, and his co-worker Sokesie is a 22-year- old father of two. Sammy’s bitterness is a reflection of the despair that has about his own life. The three girls who divert his attention from the dreariness of his existence are seen as the very embodiment of hope, a refreshing cure from the reeking stench of helplessness that permeates his life.
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