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A&P Archetype Analasys

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An archetype is a recurring image, symbol, character or situation. Archetypes are also expressions of universal concepts. The story “A&P” by John Updike is about a young cashier at a local grocery store who is suddenly distracted by three girls that are dressed in bathing suits and look like they don’t belong. As the girls were checking out the store manager lectured the girls about how their attire was inappropriate and they could never come into the store again dressed liked they were.

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Sammy who seems to be head over heels of the three girls quits his job in failed attempt to get the girls attention. A&P” uses many different archetypes in this story such as femme fatale, fall of man, and the coming of age to illustrate the power of desire. Sammy is the prototypical teenage boy with a healthy interest in the opposite sex. He is very observant and descriptive. He tries his best to over emphasize the appearance of the three girls that he sees walking in the store.

Some of his observations consisted of using a metaphor to compare the girls to bees. Sammy even goes as far as nick naming the girl he thinks is very attractive Queenie to show how dominant and more important she was over the other three girls.

Sammy also describes the assets that Queenie has. ” With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty” (Updike 3). This quote is the perfect example of femme fatale, because it is an example of an attractive and seductive woman, esp. one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man. This story also represents a coming-of-age for Sammy.

From the time the girls enter the grocery store, to the moment they leave; you can see changes in Sammy. At first, he sees only the physicality of the girls: how they look and what they are wearing, seem to be his only observations. As the story progresses, he notices the interactions between the girls, and he even determines the hierarchy of the small dynamic. He observes their actions and how they affect the other patrons of the business. Rather, how the other people view the girl’s actions. His thought process is maturing and he starts to see things as an adult might see them.

He notices that the “regulars”, seem to do the same things day in and day out. Following the same path and directions through the isles, they check off their lists and go about their searching. This realization is why the group of girls is so refreshing to him. They ARE different and do not seem to follow any set path. They seem to live in the now. After seeing this, he starts to feel bad about the way the girls are being viewed by others. He no longer wants to be part of something that discourages uniqueness. This is further supported in the checkout scene, when he makes the comment about the policy and how it is what the “kingpins” want.

It is not something that he believes in, nor does he want to enforce. Sammy starts to feel, for the first time, that there is something out there that is better. He is ready to go find it. When he decides to quit his job, hastily as it may be, he is making the choice to be an individual, to venture into the unknown. It is something that he knows he has to do, so he does have some hesitation in “removing the apron”. Once it has been removed, he knows that he cannot put it back on. This symbolizes his acceptance of having to move on in life

An archetype is a recurring image, symbol, character or situation. Archetypes are also expressions of universal concepts. The story “A&P” by John Updike is about a young cashier at a local grocery store who is suddenly distracted by three girls that are dressed in bathing suits and look like they don’t belong. As the girls were checking out the store manager lectured the girls about how their attire was inappropriate and they could never come into the store again dressed liked they were. Sammy who seems to be head over heels of the three girls quits his job in failed attempt to get the girls attention. A&P” uses many different archetypes in this story such as femme fatale, fall of man, and the coming of age to illustrate the power of desire. Sammy is the prototypical teenage boy with a healthy interest in the opposite sex. He is very observant and descriptive. He tries his best to over emphasize the appearance of the three girls that he sees walking in the store. Some of his observations consisted of using a metaphor to compare the girls to bees. Sammy even goes as far as nick naming the girl he thinks is very attractive Queenie to show how dominant and more important she was over the other three girls.

Sammy also describes the assets that Queenie has. ” With the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and the top of her head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light. I mean, it was more than pretty” (Updike 3). This quote is the perfect example of femme fatale, because it is an example of an attractive and seductive woman, esp. one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man. This story also represents a coming-of-age for Sammy.

From the time the girls enter the grocery store, to the moment they leave; you can see changes in Sammy. At first, he sees only the physicality of the girls: how they look and what they are wearing, seem to be his only observations. As the story progresses, he notices the interactions between the girls, and he even determines the hierarchy of the small dynamic. He observes their actions and how they affect the other patrons of the business. Rather, how the other people view the girl’s actions. His thought process is maturing and he starts to see things as an adult might see them.

He notices that the “regulars”, seem to do the same things day in and day out. Following the same path and directions through the isles, they check off their lists and go about their searching. This realization is why the group of girls is so refreshing to him. They ARE different and do not seem to follow any set path. They seem to live in the now. After seeing this, he starts to feel bad about the way the girls are being viewed by others. He no longer wants to be part of something that discourages uniqueness. This is further supported in the checkout scene, when he makes the comment about the policy and how it is what the “kingpins” want.

It is not something that he believes in, nor does he want to enforce. Sammy starts to feel, for the first time, that there is something out there that is better. He is ready to go find it. When he decides to quit his job, hastily as it may be, he is making the choice to be an individual, to venture into the unknown. It is something that he knows he has to do, so he does have some hesitation in “removing the apron”. Once it has been removed, he knows that he cannot put it back on. This symbolizes his acceptance of having to move on in life

Cite this A&P Archetype Analasys

A&P Archetype Analasys. (2016, Oct 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ap-archetype-analasys/

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