Sexuality In John Updike's A & P

1149 Words5 Pages
In “A&P” by John Updike, he portrays the power of women’s sexuality by allowing the reader to take a peek at what is in Sammy’s head and giving clear imagery of the women’s actions and appearance. Updike acknowledged that women have power and are as equal as men, because women are able to take action and break away from the norms. In the beginning of the story, Updike revealed an image to the reader of three women going into the store “in nothing but bathing suits” (356), even though the store A&P was in the middle of town five miles away from the closest beach. The imagery clearly shows that these women did not dress like how society expects them to, but they follow what they want and desire. This story was written in 1961; at the time women are expected to dress in a way that would cover from their neck down to their ankles with no skin showing. Women are also expected to stay home, cook, take care of the children, educate them, and take care of the house. In Sammy’s eyes, these women who wore bathing suits into the store symbolize freedom and established power. Furthermore, “the queen. She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round. She didn’t look around,…show more content…
A&P grocery store is one of the first supermarkets that are open to the public. The A&P store is the conformity of Sammy’s community. To Sammy who really dislike the idea of conformity but does not have the courage to fight against it, the girls are the helping hands that helped Sammy take action. When the girls step into the store in bathing suits, they broke the social norms that women has to be conservative. Sammy was immediately mesmerized by their sexuality and the gesture of breaking from conformity. Sammy fell in love with the queen, which resulting him quitting his job to impress her. The girls’ boldness of breaking away from social standards has affected Sammy more than their sexual

    More about Sexuality In John Updike's A & P

      Open Document