The Significance of Minor Characters in "A&P" Essay

Words: 1236
Pages: 5

Dave Epstein
Jennifer Kaufman
Eng 102-8
Short Story Essay #2- Essay 1 Revision-“A&P”
Word Count: 1172 “The Significance of Minor Characters in “A&P” ” Minor characters are crucial to a reader’s understanding of any story. In John Updike’s short story, “A&P” this idea is very apparent. In this short story, two of the minor characters are quite important. These two minor characters are Queenie, a young women shopper and Lengel, the manager of the A&P. Qeenie and Lengel are vital minor characters, as Updike uses them for the reader’s understanding of the young adult main character, Sammy, including his personality and motivations, which provides further understanding of the story. In John Updike’s
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Queenie and Lengel also enlighten the reader’s understanding of Sammy’s motivations, which are to stand up to Lengel in order to be a hero to these girls. Sammy shows this after Queenie and Lengel have an altercation, regarding her and her friend’s bathing suits and how the suits aren’t appropriate attire for a food market. This leaves Queenie feeling pretty embarrassed. As Queenie leaves the store, Sammy says, “The girls, and who’d blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say, I quit to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero” (20). This is a clear example of how Queenie brings out that Sammy really sticks up for the girls as an attempt to get their attention and come across as a sort of hero to them. This reason for Sammy sticking up for the girls shows, that is his real motivation. During the same situation, Lengel also brings out Sammy’s motivation, as his words are the reason the girls feel embarrassed and leave. Lengel’s conversation with Queenie was about the girl’s attire in the store. Lengel starts by saying to the girls’, “Girls, this isn’t the beach” (19). He then explains how they should be dressed more decently in the store because it is the policy. After the girls leave and Sammy says, “I quit” (20). Lengel addresses Sammy and tells him not to do that again. Sammy still refuses; he puts his apron on the counter and walks out. When he gets outside to the lot, he is