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A&P
A&P
by John Updike
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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.

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