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Little Words, Big Ideas
This story is about three girls who walk into an A&P grocery store on a Thursday afternoon, wearing only their bathing suits. The reaction they get from the other customers makes up the bulk of...
"A&P" depicts a distinct battle for power. Lengel, the A&P store manager, seems to have the most power in the story. He has the power to publicly humiliate people he thinks don't dress (or...
Sammy is a principled young man. He doesn't state his principles, but we can guess some of them by reading between the lines. For example, we can infer that Sammy respects people who aren't afraid...
John Updike does something clever and interesting in "A&P": he gives us a lusty 19-year old guy for a narrator and has him perform what Updike calls "an act of feminist protest." Updike is talk...
Society and Class
Class is a big issue in "A&P." Sammy divides up the various people he comes into contact with into socioeconomic classes. He himself is a working-class young man. By contrast, Queenie, the name...
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