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John Updike's A&P.

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John Updike's A&P Many of the events that take place in John Updike's "A&P" would not have happened had the town lived under a Marxist society. Marxism is a socio-economic ideal where all people work for the good of the community and is characterized by not having any social class distinctions. The division of Classes in "A&P" is very apparent, especially between Sammy, the protagonist and first person narrator, and the three girls, one of the three antagonists, who walk into the store during the exposition. There is also a cast disparity between Sammy and Lengel, the store manager and another antagonist (along with society, who complete the three). A distinction is also noticeable between the three girls and the rest of the shoppers in the convenience store. The story is told entirely in flashback and is set in a grocery store in a town north of Boston, Massachusetts during one Thursday in summer. ...read more.


Another class disparity is noticed between Sammy and Lengel. Not only is Lengel the store manager, and by definition in a class above Sammy, but he is also part of the group that makes the policy for the store. Sammy goes as far as grouping him with the "kingpins." Again, in a Marxist government, where everyone works for the good of the community, there is no need for these rules; or policies as Lengel calls them. Sammy is then left with a choice between trying to be above the "kingpins"-by being accepted into a group who he describes as being in a "place from which the crowd that runs the A&P must look pretty crummy"-or working for the policy makers. Sammy's decision to quit, the climax in the story, also symbolizes his coming of age leaving his childhood behind-symbolized by the apron-knowing he can never return to it. The last line in the resolution when Sammy realizes how hard the world was going to be from then on is his loss of innocence ...read more.


Even the way Queenie blushed during her conflict with Lengel tells us she was embarrassed by the whole situation-where she felt out of place because of her high stature in society. These scenes, of course, would never have taken place in Marxist cultures because the government would have provided for it's citizens and the girls would have never found themselves being humiliated in front of a lesser class of people. All the conflicts that take place in Updike's "A&P" would have been avoided in a Marxist society. Lengel and Sammy would have never had a confrontation because Sammy would not have been trying to impress a high society girl. Likewise, the three girls would not have found themselves shopping for a snack in the A&P because the government would have provided it for them. This leaves us with one question, however, In a Marxist society, would Sammy have realized his adulthood or would he have remained a child? ...read more.

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