The Hero's Quest In A & P, By John Updike

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Throughout many pieces of literature, the underlying plot is the same. In most all works, we can dig deep and find out more when looking at the Hero’s Quest in these works of literature. One of the stories that I decided to use to discuss the importance of the Hero Quest in works of literature is “A&P” by John Updike. This work of literature has a great underlying meaning of heroism and can give us insight the importance of the Hero Quest in literature. If we take a look at the hero’s journey, the first step we see is The Ordinary World. To Sammy, the ordinary world is the A&P Supermarket, the same-old-same events happening each and every day. Sammy refers to the store as a “pinball machine” and that he didn’t know which “tunnel they’d come out of” (Updike 19), talking about the girls. The girls’ entrance then takes us to the next step in the quest, The Call to Adventure. In this step, we see three girls enter the A&P in nothing but bathing suits. This event raises the question of what their…show more content…
The test Sammy receives is when Lengel, the A&P manager, confronts the girls and asks them to leave. Lengel could also be considered the enemy of Sammy and the girls. At this point in the story, Sammy begins to have the thoughts that a normal teenager boy would have after seeing girls in bikinis. This element of the story presents Sammy with his first test. He has to decide between trying to win the heart of Queenie or holding true to the rules. Trying to impress the girls, Sammy decides to try and win Queenie’s love, and he tells Lengel that he wishes to quit his job. At first, Lengel is surprised at this statement made by Sammy and tries to get him to take his statement back, telling Sammy “I don’t think you know what you’re saying” and “Sammy, you don’t want to do this to your Mom and Dad.” (Updike

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