by John Updike
Herring Snacks and Beer Glasses
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
In an interview, Updike spells out what Sammy hints at in the story: that Queenie is a rich girl. Sammy has learned to tell people's social and economic class in part from what they buy at the store. The herring snacks are a fancy, expensive item. He contrasts that with his own family, where fancy means beer glasses.