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A and P

The Characters of John Updike's "A & P" In "A & P", John Updike develops his characters through the eyes of the main character, Sammy. Sammy works in a grocery store, and one day he observes three young girls as they come into the store. The whole time they are in the A & P, Sammy describes their appearance, behavior, and his impression of them in great detail. Sammy watches each of the girls as they look around the store, but there is one that catches his attention right as they walk in. He is so busy staring at her that he makes the customer he is "ringing up" very mad at him. Sammy describes the young girl as a "chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft - looking can with those two crescents of white just under it..."(Updike, 105). He notices everything about the girl, even down to the fact that she does not have a tan line, so she must have just bought the bright green, two piece, bathing suit. He also notices that she is very conscience of being a little over weight, because she "..fumbled with the cookies, but on second thought she put the packages back"(Updike, 106). Sammy describes the next girl as a pretty girl, but not pretty enough to be called beautiful. He puts great detail in describing her appearance, and describes everything about her, from her long, frizzy hair, to her long neck, and the sunburns underneath her eyes. This girl is the tallest of the three, but he says that while she is " the kind of girl other girls think is very striking' and attractive' but never quite makes it....is why they like her so much" (Updike, 105). The last girl he describes is the one he thinks is the leader of the three girls, and even calls her the "queen" (Updike, 105). Sammy describes her as being a very self-assured girl, who is trying to teach the other girls how to be just like her. He states that "she had talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yours...

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