rewrite #1.pdf - Ari Vlajk ENGL 1102 Professor Turula 5 December 2017 The Evolution From Conformity and Patriarchy into Individualism In the short story

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Ari Vlajk ENGL 1102 Professor Turula 5 December 2017 The Evolution From Conformity and Patriarchy into Individualism In the short story “A&P” by John Updike, Sammy is the 19 year old protagonist who works at a local grocery store called A&P and is swept out of his everyday routine when three teenage girls, wearing only bathing suits, walk into the store. Due to the subtle social stigma that was associated with girls exposing their bodies in public places during the 1950’s, the bathing suits serve as a symbol of the progression of individualism. During that time period, most of the social and cultural norms and rules were regulated by the dominating presence of the patriarchy; so it was deemed unacceptable for the girls to be seen somewhere besides a beach or a pool with only bathing suits on, as they were expected to always look decent and covered up. Sammy, unlike most of the other people in A&P, ultimately regards the bathing suits as a refreshing sign of non- conformity, and rather than shaming the girls for their eccentric appearance. Sammy’s evolving liberal thoughts and behaviors, triggered by the the seemingly inappropriate exhibition of the exposed female body, displays the progression of individualism during the 1950’s and how they correspond with the downfall of sexual shaming, which inevitably puts a damper on the patriarchy’s overpowering agenda. When the three girls walk into the store, which was a place where people, particularly women, were expected to be covered up, with only their bathing suits on, all heads are turned towards
them, due to the fact that their apparel represents a taboo during the 50’s, women openly displaying their bodies in public. Sammy describes one of them as “… the tall one, with black hair that hadn’t quite frizzed right.. and a chin that was too long,” and the other as “the chunky

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