Essay Liberated: Role and Step

Submitted By Saltnpepper1
Words: 1049
Pages: 5

Diana Sanchez
May 29,2013
Short Fiction


Boris Kulovis’s picture at initial fleeting impression depicts an enormous foot uprooted from the ground, but upon further examination it is noticeable that the foot moves in a forward direction dislodging all the branches to the point of even removing the top layer of the ground. This in particular then suggests a powerful and strong step forward. Figuratively, this strong giant step forward jumps out of the page immediately, and it is hard to ignore, yet abstract, to me the branches of the foot represent the several personal struggles that exist within human beings personal lives. These personal struggles or obstacles can be minuscule like the smaller branches attached at the end of the bottom of the foot, or the obstacles can be far more complex and similar to the larger branches attached to the foot are thus more difficult to uproot. Collectively, we can extrapolate that this enormous giant step forward frames an underlying theme of liberation. Liberation of any impediments that hold us back not in the literal sense as the illustration points out but figuratively. This interpretation leads to my discussions of John Updike's A&P. In this story, initially the narrator Sammy stuck and bounded by his social conditions makes a powerful step forward in his life, metaphorically uprooting his branches and then in turn liberated from his restricted strata of society by the end of the story.

People held back by circumstances prevent themselves from reaching their fullest potential. We hold back from living with full intention, carrying out desires and true feelings for numerous reasons as the numerous branches represents in the picture shows. We neglect these desires because, like Sammy, we become trapped in social roles and circumstances. Social conditions makes it difficult to break out of social roles such as job duties, family duties and other roles because as Kulovis illustration shows is hard to break away and take the strong step forward away from entrapment and towards desires because these social conditions bond to numerous branches as mentioned previously. We see how ingrained the branches are because there are pieces of rocks in the air cause by the momentum. Also, the strength metaphorically speaking about inner strength require to propel the step forward. Additionally, the small crevices suggest how imbedded we can become within social roles and that itself can be confining. The illustration is nevertheless hopeful because we see the magnitude of one step forward. Merely one step was able to remove the branches, weaken the several other branches and create crippling crevices that suggest that perhaps another step in the same direction can offer complete freedom. It is hopeful and optimistic unlike the fate of Sammy at the end of the story that is not particularly optimistic. However, when Sammy impulsively quits his job this impulsiveness provides Sammy with some sense of short-lived personal satisfaction. Although is not quite clear what he will do next, quitting impulsively gave him a temporary form of escape from otherwise the confinement of a register drawer in A&P.

When Sammy a clerk in an A & P grocery, is working the cash register on a summer day three young woman enter barefoot only in swimsuits, to purchase snacks. When we read the story, we see that Sammy has conformed to his role of cash register because he is highly nonchalant, sarcastic and expresses patronizing superiority towards the people who shop at A&P. He is also particularly condescending of the girls initially as he expressed a snarky remark “in walk these girls”( Updike 1) but then something changes, and he fascinated by them, he begins to lust for them. This is bizarre because initially confident. We notice it when he makes fun of one customer whom he described as “ a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, and I know it made her day to