February 7, 2018
In the short story “A&P”, written by John Updike, theme is shown throughout the entire story. The theme of growing up, appearances, individualism, and social class are all presented in this short story.
Sammy is nineteen years old and is in the space in life where he is not a kid anymore and not quite an adult. Legally, yes, he is an adult but he still answers to his parents. His manager, Lengel, brings up his parents as Sammy decides to quit, “Sammy, you don’t want to do this to your Mom and Dad”(Updike 165). As Sammy comes closer to becoming an adult, he has to deal with the outcomes of his actions head-on. Sammy is a couple years older than the girls who walk into A&P. Sammy is similar to the girls because of their young age, but unlike the girls, Sammy can not use his parents to excuse his actions like the girls do when Lengel confronts them. Queenie used her parents by saying they had sent her to the store to buy some “herring snacks”(Updike 163). Sammy will just have to face his parents’ being upset with him and find another source of making money when he quits, Sammy’s decision of telling Lengel he quits is an act of youth, but he is not young like the girls, and he have to deal with his consequences like an adult.