Essay on Desire—The Viper in your mind

Submitted By Kevin-Chou
Words: 1386
Pages: 6

Desire—The Viper in your mind
By reading the short stories” A&P” and “The Lottery Ticker”, it is evident that both of them talk about the power and the negative effect of desire. In some situations, desire or emotional thoughts may impair people’s judgments, and even lead to some negative consequences. The character development in both stories highlights the power of desire and how desire makes people impetuous, They get influenced by the strong feeling deep down inside, For instance, in the story “A&P” , the main character Sammy is just a lazy and cowardly boy who complains about everything inside his mind. He rings up the purchase by mistake and “ the customer starts to give me hell ” (Updike, P134) He dislikes his job and describes the customer like“She’s one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty…” (Updike, P134)He has rebellious thoughts but he dose not dare to speak it out loud. All the things he can do is "…got her leather smoothed and her goodies into a bag” ( Updike, P135 ) For him, life in the A&P store is boring and also vulgar. “It’s not as if we’re on the Cape; we’re north of Boston and there’s people in this town haven’t see the ocean for twenty years.” The ocean here represents the interesting life for Sammy. He is not satisfied until the girls show up. When he saw the Queenie his desire starts to work. When the Queenie takes out the money “out of the hollow at the center of her nibbled pink top” (Updike, P136) Sammy thinks it is cute but actually, it is a kind of rude to not wear like that in the store. Sammy was on the right track even he does not like it. He did not suppose to do anything when his boss blames the girls. But he falls into a desire---being a hero in front of them. This desire leads him to make a hasty decision without careful considerations---to quit his job. The girls are wrong but Sammy cannot judge them in the right way due to his desire, this only makes his life become more difficult. He realizes it is wrong after Lengel tells him to think about it, but he still cannot escape from his desire. It makes him stubborn and loses his logic.
There is almost the same thing happens in “The Lottery Ticket”. Ivan Dmitrich is a middle-class man who is satisfied with his life even they are not rich until they think that they may win the lottery ticket. Their desire gives them a wild imagination about what they can do if they really get the money. They do not even care about if they win or not but start to hate each other because they all want the money for their own dreams. The power of the desire of the money breaks their marriage, when they finally know that they do not win at all. Ivan and his wife start to feel that “...their rooms were dark and small and low-pitched, that supper they had been was not doing them good” (Chekhov, P202), that is what they have never felt before. The desire of becoming rich drives them mad and makes them lose the control of emotions.
At the beginning of the story “A&P”, Sammy does everything he is supposed to do like a well-trained dog. Although he feels bored and frustrated with his current life, he tries to keep his complains inside, However, when Queenie arrives, he starts to have a new expectation that the girls will notice him and bring him something interesting to change his life. He thinks there is a good chance to be a hero to Queenie when his boss Lengel criticises the girls. He keeps thinking about showing his stance to the girls or not when he rings up the purchase. He knows there is something wrong and he should not be impulsive because he is on the right track with his job now. Nonetheless, his desire for the Queenie makes him misjudge the situation. He hopes that “…they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero” (Chekhov, P137). when he finally speaks out that he quits. But the girls are too embarrassed to stay in the store and Sammy realizes he judges incorrectly, he is not supposed to be on the girls’ side. Queenie is the