A & P Essay - Skipworth 1 Lacey Jo Skipworth...

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Skipworth 1 Lacey Jo Skipworth Composition II Prof. Patricia Barker February 15, 2018 Queen of Sheep In John Updike’s “A & P” the author uses several literary techniques to put the reader in a situation that is both mundane and tense. The story opens with the main character, a clerk named Sammy, noticing three girls in swimsuits enter the A & P, which is the store in which he works. He seems smitten with the apparent leader of the group, who he decides to call Queenie, and observes her movements throughout the store from his post at the register. When the trio eventually makes their way to Sammy’s checkout lane, the manager of the store arrives and the girls are ejected from the store for being dressed indecently. This event triggers Sammy to quit his job despite his boss’ protests and he walks out of the store, hoping to catch a glimpse of the girls. After that, the story ends without much of a resolution. For anyone, the slow dredge of a job in retail is often draining and stressful situations are common when dealing with customers and coworkers alike. It is not hard to imagine a situation like the one illustrated in “A & P” to be the single straw that broke the young man’s resolve to stay at his job. John Updike uses literary techniques such as characterization to give life to the story, point of view to show the events through Sammy’s perspective, and conflict to establish an engaging level of tension. The main character is not given much characterization throughout the story, as the narrative is mostly focused on his perception of the three girls. They are characterized rather shallowly, based only on the readings that Sammy assigns them as the narrator of the story. In the very first sentence, Sammy points out that they are in “nothing but bathing suits” and he later goes on to say that one of the girls has a “soft-looking can.” These observations are
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