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External and Internal Threats

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Sammy and A and P Supermarket


sammy and A and P Supermarket

and returns to work, Sammy continues to watch the girls, and seems to enjoy the way they flaunt their freedom to ignore. Sammy seems to be looking for a girl who will show him things he's never seen and take him places he's never been. You could see them, when Queenie's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed. Because the girls disrupt the routines of the store, Sammy becomes aware of his life and decides to change himself. "A Blue Collar Kid Longing for a White Collar Girl". This again insinuates that they are not independent individuals capable of thinking for themselves or going against the grain of society. At that point, he chooses to break away from the "flock" and defend the honor of the girls, who were not doing anything wrong in Sammy's mind.

This is likely because no one in his life will understand why he takes a stand against what he sees as an injustice because the "sheep" would never see it as an injustice. He says Sammy's "gesture of quitting has to do with the fact that she was rich and she was poor, as he sees it" ( source ). They expect others to follow the code of conduct that is dictated by society. Updike claims that this difference in social classes is the main reason Sammy quits his job.

Annual Report Analysis - Safeway Supermarket
Through The Eyes of Sammy: An AandP Checker

These sun kissed areas along with their bathing suits are so distracting to Sammy that he breaks normal routine and makes a mistake, an unusual occurrence, while checking out the "cash-register-watcher" as he has always done. Updike makes these class distinctions explicit in an interview, and there are hints of them in the story. Updike's word choice in his short story "A P" suggests a cynical and critical view of a consumer society in which people have been conditioned to conform in various ways. Sammy belongs to what's sometimes known as the "blue-collar" class. Comparing the customers to sheep, he is implying they all stay together, do the same things, are not independent, and look to a leader for direction. He makes an educated guess about her class by taking into account her dress, her bearing, what she buys, the way she talks, and the way she responds to Lengel's attack on her clothing. Updike suggests that not just any girl would have inspired Sammy to such action. As Sammy looks at the girls, catastrophies in Chinese history he first notices the areas on them where the sun has affected their skin tone, and he becomes infatuated with these areas since he generally sees women "varicose veins" and "no eyebrows" underneath the fluorescent lights of the store.


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