A ; P by John Updike – Term Paper

The video ‘Sean Hayes & Amy Smart in A & P Szenes,’ presents a young man called Sammy who sees a lady client in the store, the A;P is a grocery store where he works. Sammy becomes interested in her and the life she is living and wants to know more about the lady (Engelchen4You, 2008). He tries to catch some attention from the girl and her friends, but the supervisor/boss at the store seems not giving him the opportunity to express himself to the lady. Sammy is furious about the reaction of the supervisor to the ladies as they were wearing bathing suits. Sammy then left the store to follow the girls outside as a way of taking the insult on behalf of the ladies. Unfortunately, he finds that they had already taken off.; This essay aims at analyzing the issues that arose because of Sammy quitting his Job.

John Updike A;P Sammy’s Quitting of the Job

 As explained in the video ‘A&P” Analysis,’ by SixMinuteScholar (2012), Sammy’s leaving is not a rebellion but a statement of some sort. Looking at Sammy, he is bored with his work. It is a regular job, and he feels that getting something different to do would be better than staying at the store. His quitting would give him a chance to explore a different experience other than working at the store all day. Sammy’s leaving has the meaning that he is tired of his job and it no longer interests him. He can get a better life outside the A;P is a grocery store.;

;Sammy is rebelling from Lengel’s insults to the girls. According to SixMinuteScholar (2012), Sammy desires the life that Quinee and her friends live. He likes Quinees independent life, and that is what he wants to become. When Lengel, his boss insulted the girls and told them they should not be there; Sammy felt offended. As SixMinuteScholar (2012) says, “when Lengel insults these girls, immediately he has offended Sammy’s dream of becoming like them.”  Sammy feels such an insult was not appropriate; instead, sees the girls as pleasant and bringing beach life all the way to the store and its surroundings that have been boring. 

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A&P by John Updike

There are unconscious targets of Sammy’s rebellion. Sammy feels that he is an adult and wants an adult opinion about his life. It seems that working at A & P grocery store was his parent’s decision and that does not make him independent like the girls. Sammy wants a life that he can make decisions on his own. He wants a life where no one will control him like his boss and one that will not require routine activities. Apart from standing for the girls, Sammy also rebels from his past life that has been in the control of his parents and boss Lengel (SixMinuteScholar, 2012). 

The enemy to Sammy is his work situation. Sammy is bored, worn out and no longer interested in working at the store. This situation was the start of his thoughts of looking for or getting involved in something else that is more interesting that staying at one place. At the A & P grocery store, there is oppression of employees as they are not given the freedom of expression. Sammy is a young man who has worked for many years in the business. Sammy is the oppressed person in this store. The boss, Lengel still feels appropriate to control Sammy not to talk to the girls. He comes in when Sammy is speaking to the girls and interrupts. It is oppression of staffs by limiting their freedom of expression and association. 

Sammy Standing up for the girls in some way was a form of standing up for himself. By quitting his job, Sammy will get the freedom that he needed to make independent decisions about his life. Leaving his work would mean a new opportunity to seek his dream life of living like Quinn and her friends. He will get a new and better job that will make him rich like the girls and enable him to live like them. It is the dream life that Sammy will achieve after standing for the girls. Sammy is getting a new chance of leaving his old life and gaining a new and better one. He is ready to face life alone.


Engelchen4You. (2008). Sean Hayes & Amy Smart in A & P Szenes. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3KKU5u6hFw

SixMinuteScholar. (2012). A&P” Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QMw4MXTey0