A & P By John Updike Commentary Essay

554 Words3 Pages
In the passage from "A&P" in which Sammy quits his job as a seemingly heroic act for the three girls who were violating store dress code, the author John Updike suggests with Sammy's deluded decision the generalization that every action is inherently selfish. Updike accomplishes this by using specific word choice and dialogue in the passage. In the first section of the passage from "A&P", Updike shows how Sammy's "heroic" action isn't as selfish as it seems. Updike states that, "The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say 'I quit' to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero,". This quote shows how selfish Sammy is, because he is only quitting his job in order to get the girls' attention. Updike specifically includes that Sammy quit "quick enough for them to hear," and that he hoped they'd stop and watch him. And to top it off, Sammy labels himself as a hero. A true hero is not so pretentious that they would dub themselves a hero. This fact really ties together how selfish Sammy is because he quit his job in order to impress the girls and make himself feel like a…show more content…
Updike writes, "They keep on going, right into the electric eye... across the lot to their car,". This quote shows how Sammy was being selfish when he quit his job because he kept watching the girls, waiting for them to turn around and reward him for "saving them,". Updike is using a lot of imagery and detailed word choice, describing the entrance of the store as an "electric eye". This imagery is important because it emphasizes how closely Sammy is paying attention to the girls and calculating their every movement, waiting for them to turn around and thank him. Overall this section is a bit of a filler to emphasize how inherently selfish Sammy was in quitting his job to get the girls'

    More about A & P By John Updike Commentary Essay

      Open Document