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Although short john updikes a and p is big on enjoyment

Although Short, John Updike's "A & P" is Big on Enjoyment

I enjoy stories that are long and involved. However, the short story

"A & P" by John Updike is a wonderful exception to this rule. Updike writes

the story from a viewpoint of what I believe to be a younger, more contemporary

person. The story contains many other enjoyable attributes, such as the

comments about young girls' flesh. I found the story to be a good read and

although I typically don't like stories that are short and uninvolved, I was

able to gain a lot of enjoyment from this work.

The story begins with little-to-no foreshadowing and doesn't enlighten

the reader until about half way through the piece. All of the sudden, the

reader is cast into an "A & P" grocery store in what I would think to be the

late 1950's. Although undocumented, the writer gives details that point to this

time period. I didn't think I would enjoy the story because it doesn't provide

much background information on anything. However, as I began to read the story

I was able to create background information of my own which changed my opinion

about the story altogether.

I found the work to be enjoyable in other ways as well. I got the

impression that the main character was a younger fellow. His comments and

actions sounded more immature than mature, so I was able to relate more closely

to the work. I found that there were many thought processes that are similar to

an adolescent boys, rather than to a more experienced adult. A good example of

this can be seen toward the end of paragraph 2 when he gives his interpretation

of what happens in a girls mind. He makes a simile to a bee buzzing in a glass

jar. A mature person would never make a statement that is so thoughtless. I

enjoyed it very much.

I'm able to make a few emotional connections to Sammy, the main

character, as well.. In the story, there are many clues that point to him as a

girl watcher / admirer. I tend to think that all gentlemen at that age and

maturity level feel similar ways toward the opposite sex. In the passage,

"...you know, the kind of girl the other girls think is very 'striking' and

'attractive' but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they

like her so much..." (63), it can be seen that he is an experienced girl watcher.

Careful observation is the only way a guy could reasonably know what the other

could be thinking.

I think that overall the story did a very good job of bringing me into

the store. I felt like a first hand participant in the antics. I was able to

sympathize with the main character and I was able to connect with him as well.

As I said, I typically don't enjoy shorter stories, although I'm glad that I

made an exception by reading "A & P".



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