John Updike's A & P

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A&P by John Updike is a short story with so much description. With its metaphors and masked sexual tones, the story is capable of so many perspectives in terms of literary analysis. Since it contains a lot of descriptive patriotism towards females, many critics analyze it using a biographical, cultural or gender approach. Also, many critics think of it as an adolescent shift towards adulthood, which all isn’t necessarily false. However, after several readings of it, it is apparent that John Updike’s “A&P” is capable of Marxist perspective too. If one analyzes this story, it can be interpreted as a critique of Marxism or John Updike’s capitalistic vision of reality. Capitalism in “A&P” is seen through the main character Sammy’s stories, which display class division, social mobility, and power structure. In our world there will always be capitalism, and A&P reflects that reality. It is common to refer to the Marxist theory when critiquing or analyzing a capitalistic society. On the contrary, A&P is also capable of critiquing the Marxist theory. To give a general view of what A&P is going to be compared to, it is…show more content…
There are two classes in this society; either the “bourgeoisie” (high class) or the “proletariat” (low class). In this type of society, the production refers to money and other capitalist resources. In a capitalist society, there is commodity and classism. Commodification serves the goal of the bourgeoisie, which exploits the wealthy. “Classism is a belief that the value attached to a human being is inherently linked to their social class” (Tyson 112). For as long as the labor owners (the bourgeoisie) are exploited, there can be no social progress. Karl Marx wanted capitalism's nature to cause enough of a struggle, that the working class would overthrow the bourgeoisie. This would stop production and end capitalism. Eventually capitalism would be taken over by communism or

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