A & P By John Updike Analysis

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In “A & P,” John Updike delineates the experience of a cashier that encounters three inappropriately dressed young women; they stroll around the store in only bathing suits. The 19-year-old cashier is astounded that they are in his place of work rather than the beach, yet he is amazed at one of the woman’s effortless beauty. Staring and watching their every move, the hopeful teenager wishes to impress them and win over their attention. After they are mildly reprimanded by the manager, the indecently dressed young women leave the store. In an effort to earn their attention, the cashier belts out that he quits, loud enough for the girls to hear. However, they disappear from the store quickly, showing no concern for him. The narrator has to deal with his quick, imprudent decision for the rest of his life. The author develops the theme by using much detail and lively figurative language; these components, that incorporate colorful imagery, contribute to the development of the idea that decisions should not be made out of haste or excitement.…show more content…
He notes that there is a “chunky one,” a “tall one,” and a “third one” who was considered “the queen” of them. The narrator names the girls: “Queenie and Plaid and Big Tall Goony-Goony.” By giving specific details about the girls, like the color of Queenie’s bathing suit, which was “kind of dirty-pink - - beige,” Updike helps readers understand the mindset of the main character. The young cashier was floored by the presence of the girls, therefore he acts out of excitement and decides to quit. Also, by mentioning the minute details of Queenie, he shows his strong interest in her. Any character that studies “the cool tops of her arms” is indeed eager to impress their

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