Power Structure In John Updike's A & P

1260 Words6 Pages
Power Structure is looked at as people that have different amounts of power based on their position in society. This is very apparent in A&P from beginning to end. From the moment that Sammy is distracted by the girls, he classified one as “the queen.” He talks about her as if she controls the other two girls. “You got the idea that she talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yourself straight.” (Updike, p. 441) Little hints such as “she didn’t look around her” (Updike, p. 441) and Sammy’s primary focus on her infer that the queen was self-absorbed. She always conducted the girls from the moment they walked into the store, walked to Sammy’s cashier, and left the store. The power…show more content…
The main objective would be to earn a profit, and social mobility allows one to earn more and more profit and ultimately move up in class. This story shows social mobility mainly through the store staff. Stokesie would like to think that he would be promoted and become become store manager one day, meaning if he works hard enough he will get there. Also, another example of social mobility, or lack of, is present when Sammy quits his cashier job. When the store manager Lengel tells Sammy that he will “feel this for the rest of his life” he is saying that Sammy will regret quitting because he no longer has the ability to move up on the social ladder. The social ladder presents immense conflict, which can be associated with reality. The common conflict is that the rich don’t necessarily work harder than the poor, yet they still maintain a better lifestyle. Some poor people work so hard and don’t get what they deserve. This is displayed within Lengel, Sammy, and Stokesie. Sammy and Stokesie work much harder than the store manager, but Lengel has more power. It is an example of the higher class not deserving the power and recognition that they normally

More about Power Structure In John Updike's A & P

Open Document