Changes (John Updike's "A&P") Essay

Words: 927
Pages: 4

English 1302.2E1

Changes Breaking away from the traditional is a struggle that contains several sacrifices and consequences. In John Updike’s “A&P,” Sammy is a young teenager who transforms his wishes into reality. At first glance, he seems like a normal teenage boy, but instead he is an observational character who is trying to find a way to stand up for himself. Throughout the story, he undergoes changes to reveal a different outlook for his future. Sammy demonstrates that he is a dynamic character through his views on the regular customers, his reaction to the girls, and in his decision to quit his job. First, the way Sammy sees the regular
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“It’s more complicated than you think, and after you do it often enough, it begins to make a little song” he thinks to himself (22). By the detailed description given by Sammy, the reader can tell that he is tired, bored, and trying to find ways to make the ordinary fun. The first breakthrough Sammy makes is when he says, “I quit,” to Lengel after he dealt with the girls’ attire (22). Sammy’s message is clear and direct towards his manager, making the reader conclude he has finally stood up for himself. He starts to doubt his decision to quit, but sticks through when he sees the regular customers. At the climax of the story, Sammy heads towards his counter, and, “fold[s] the apron, ‘Sammy’ stitched in red on the pocket, and put[s] it on the counter” (23). Taking off the apron and leaving it behind shows the reader that Sammy has finally escaped from the normal and able to live a life that he has wanted. Even though Sammy decided to take a leap towards faith, he knows inside that the road ahead is going to be tough. Getting away from the normal can be complicated. The person will have to change certain situations and make them for their best interest. For Sammy, his views on the regular customers, his reaction to the girls, and in his decision to quit his job demonstrate that he is a dynamic character. With the help of the girls, he was able to stand up for himself and make a better future for his