Author Question: What comment does Updikethrough Sammymake on supermarketsociety? What will be an ideal ... (Read 663 times)


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What comment does Updikethrough Sammymake on supermarketsociety?
  What will be an ideal response?

Question 2

What do you understand from the conclusion of the story? What doesSammy mean when he acknowledges how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter?
  What will be an ideal response?


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Answer to Question 1

  • Through the story, Updike criticizes supermarket society, a deadly world of sheep and houseslaves whom dynamite couldnt budge from their dull routines and praises Sammys courage and desire to be different. Supermarket societyperhaps as a microcosm for the rest of American society in the 1960sis narrowminded, traditional, and reserved. People are like sheep that follow their leaders without thinking for themselves. When Sammy defies his manager, he indirectly renounces his co-workers as well (all who have worked there for a long time). He wants more for his future than working at a grocery store, and he does not want to blindly follow the leaders in his life, including his own father.

Answer to Question 2

  • Through the afternoons events at the A & P, Sammy loses his innocence as he learns about the way the world really works. This may be partially what Lengel means when he warns Sammy, Youll feel this for the rest of your life (par. 31). In this sense, Sammy moves from boyhood to manhood, where he accepts that his choices will sometimes lead to uncomfortable or serious consequences. He wants to find his place in the world where he can make his own decisions and not simply follow the expectations and rules of others blindly. The harsh realization that Sammy now sees is that acts of heroism often go unnoticed and unacknowledged.

After Sammy quits his job and leaves the A & P, he looks back into the store while standing in the parking lot and considers his bleak future. No one is there to praise his heroism. He notices Lengels dark gray face and stiff back, as if hed just had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter (par. 31). This final sentence might refer to his immediate difficulties finding another job and possibly at home with his parents reaction to the events, but more likely implies the difficulties ahead in leading an adult life as a man of conscience. Still, he displays couragenot the absence of fear but the willingness to face itby accepting the world as it is, not merely as he wishes it would be.

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