Examples Of Rebellion In John Updike's A & P

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Examples of Rebellion in John Updike's "A& P"� In "A & P"� John Updike develops a theme of rebellion by introducing us to Sammy, a young grocery store checker with a rebellious attitude. It is through Sammy's thoughts and comments that Updike clearly shows us examples of rebellion. Starting with comments of disdain and disrespect for his customers, Updike leads up to the ultimate act of rebellion when Sammy quits his job. Updike cleverly explores his theme of rebellion by describing Sammy's attitude toward his customers, co-workers and his parents.

First, Updike depicts Sammy's rebellious attitude toward his customers with Sammy's references of "sheep,"� "witches,"� and "cash-register-watchers."� When Sammy is distracted by the girls and cannot remember if he has already rung a box of HiHo crackers, he rings it up again without first checking the tape. When the customer justifiably complains, he describes her as a "witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows"� and a "cash-register-watcher"� who had "been watching cash registers for fifty years"� (Updike369).

Instead of admitting his error he disrespectfully describes her complaint as "giving me hell"� (369). He further describes her delight in catching his error as " it made her day to trip me up"� (369), as if it was her fault he made the careless mistake. He also refers to the town women as "women with six children and varicose veins mapping their legs"� (371), "sheep pushing their carts down the aisle"� (370) and "houseslaves in pin curlers"� (371). Furthermore, Sammy clearly shows his despise for his customers when he says that if a stick of dynamite went off in the store, they "would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering"¦whatever it is they do mutter"� (371).

Additionally, Updike demonstrates Sammy's rebellious attitude...



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