story lupang tinubuan by narciso reyes

A&P (story)

"A&P" is a short story written by John Updike in 1961 in which the hero and first person narrator seemingly takes a stand for his version of what is right, only to face disappointment. One scholar, M. Gilbert Porter, referred to the titular "A&P" in Updike's story as "the common denominator of middle-class suburbia, an appropriate symbol for [the] mass ethic of a consumer-conditioned society." According to Porter, when the main character chooses to rebel against the A&P he also rebels against this consumer-conditioned society, and in so doing he "has chosen to live honestly and meaningfully. Professor of English William Peden, on the other hand, referred to the story as "deftly narrated nonsense...which contains nothing more significant than a checking clerk's interest in three girls in bathing suits.

A&P is also the name of a short story collection by John Updike first published in 1962, it contains the story of the title.

Plot summary

Sammy, a teenage clerk in an A&P grocery, is working the cash register on a hot summer day when three young women about his age enter barefoot and clad only in swimsuits, to purchase herring snacks.

Although they are dressed for the beach, Sammy allows the girls to continue shopping while he appraises them sexually in the manner of teenage boys. He imagines for himself details of the girls from their appearance alone, undue impressions that, to his surprise, are shaken when the leader of the trio, a stunning girl he has dubbed "Queenie", speaks in a voice unlike that which he had created in his mind. Lengel, the old and prudish manager, feels that the girls are not clothed appropriately to come into a grocery store. He admonishes them that this isn't the beach and that they must have their shoulders covered next time, or have their business refused, embarrassing the girls.

Sammy is offended by this mistreatment of these customers' dignity, and ceremoniously removes his store apron and bow tie and resigns on the spot, despite the mention by the manager of the pain this would cause his parents. Sammy then leaves the store, seemingly in expectation of some display of affection or appreciation from the young women involved, only to find that they've already left, apparently oblivious to his presence. Sammy's disappointment in this development strikes a very typical Updike theme.

Film Adaption

In 1996, a short film directed by Bruce Schwartz was made based on the short story. It starred Sean Hayes as Sammy and Amy Smart as Queenie in their first official movie roles

Footnotes

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