A&P

A&P: Biography: John Updike

John Updike was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, poems, and art and literary criticism during the second half of the twentieth century and earliest years of the twenty-first century. Hewas born on March 18, 1932, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in that area. His father was a high school science teacher. As …

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Apology

Introduction This is a study guide for the book The Apology written by Plato.The Apology is Platos version of the speech given by Socrates as he unsuccessfully defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of “corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia …

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A&P: Top Ten Quotes

“I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not.” Sammy’s startled reaction when he first sees the three girls in bathing suits in the store. “She didnt look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white …

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A&P: Themes

Freedom versus ConformityThe A&P store is situated in what appears to be a fairly small and rather staid, largely Protestant—as suggested by the Congregational church—town some miles north of Boston. Likely to be culturally homogeneous, this early 1960s community exhibits a sameness in what people might think of as its moral standards. For example, people …

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A&P: Metaphor and Simile

One of the engaging elements in the story is the liveliness of Sammy’s colloquial, young person’s language. He employs figurative language as well as slang to convey his casualand often witty observations about othersand his own feelings about life. He uses a number of similes, which are comparisons between dissimilar objects made in such a …

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A&P: Character Profiles

Big Tall Goony-Goony The second girl Sammy notices is tall with black hair and a long chin, which detracts from her good looks. Sammy seems to find her the least attractive of the three and gives her the name Big Tall Goony-Goony, although he admits that she is not really all that bad looking.  Lengel …

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A&P: Essay

1. How have literary scholars assessed and interpreted “A&P”?The story has received quite a lot of attention from critics. Robert Detweiler, in John Updike (1984) comments that Sammy’s reaction to Lengel’s chiding of the girls “is the reflex of the still uncorrupted, of the youth still capable of the grand gesture because he has not …

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A&P: Summary: Chapter

Summary“A&P” is set in an A&P grocery store in an unnamed town north of Boston, Massachusetts, around 1961, when the story was first published. The story takes place over a very short period of time—perhaps no more than five or ten minutes—on a Thursday afternoon, and is narrated by Sammy, a nineteen-year-old store employee.Three girls …

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