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A&P Character Analysis

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The two short stories “A & P” and “Shiloh” main characters show significant changes throughout the story. Both characters are said to be round characters (also known as dynamic characters). The Fiction Literature book defines dynamic characters as tending to often change by either learning or becoming more enlightened, grow or deteriorate. To simplify that, it means that the characters often have a change of heart throughout the story or change their way of life drastically throughout the story.

The dynamic characters in these short stories are Sammy the narrator of A & P and Leroy (Shiloh) will be the main focus of this essay.

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It’s really interesting to read stories with characters that have such major changes throughout them. It keeps you holding on and questioning both their thoughts and their reasoning. In John Updike’s A&P, the main character, Sammy, quits his job at the grocery store in order to impress the group of girls that have walked in with just their swim suits on.

Most would think that Sammy did this to get the girls attention; others may believe he finally realized it was to get out of his dead-end job. Sammy could have been searching for a sense of personal gain and satisfaction, but with his sense of direction that’s unlikely. By taking sides with the upper-class girls, he feels as if he rises in class to meet the girl’s standards and the standards it takes to be a part of their class. It seems that Sammy was part of a lower-end family and may have had this job to help provide for his family, so that leads one to think, why?

What is his reasoning? As Sammy goes on about this group of girls, he includes comments on how he can tell by their appearance that they are part of the upper class and how he wishes to live the life they do. Sammie’s reasoning for quitting unlike most believe based solemnly on getting Queenie the girl he dreams of, but I think it’s too move towards her way of life. For him to accomplish a move up in classes, this impulse decision may force him to take steps in that direction.

In Bobbie Ann Mason’s Shiloh, there are two very interesting characters; Leroy and Norma Jean. As far as a dynamic character goes, it could be argued that both show some signs of change but Leroy more than Norma Jean. Leroy’s whole life was spent on the road driving a truck, traveling all over. What was interesting was the fact that Leroy said he would drive and drive and never pay attention to the scenery he was passing. It could have been that he was on drugs, but chances are he was just doing his job and probably not happy about his life.

After Leroy’s highway accident he was unable to continue working. From a man that is always out and about on the road to now being unemployed stuck at home this is a drastic change in his life. Not only does it affect him financially but emotionally as well. He finds himself sitting at home, up to no good and thinking about things that never really ever crossed his mind. He begins to realize how much of life he has missed, how apart him and his wife are and how different things have become around town.

Now, could this all be because of Norma Jeans change of heart about him and life, or is him being home all the time just taken a turn for the worst for the couple. Norma Jean has always been a dependant housewife, not it seems like she wants no part in him and is just gradually separating herself from him. She stops doing what she loves in playing music, starts cooking weird food, and is now body building and taking classes at a community college nearby. I believe all this change Norma Jean is going through is a great example of foreshadowing of what is to come.

These two short-stories show perfect examples of dynamic characters. It is plain and clear in both stories the change of life, thoughts and actions of the main characters. Leroy and Sammie are both people that in the end clearly show that they want better and bigger things in life but are unsure of how. Stories like these are what inspire people to want more and make something of yourself. You never know what tomorrow holds and I think that the beauty of life so don’t take advantage of what you have because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Cite this A&P Character Analysis

A&P Character Analysis. (2016, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ap-character-analysis/

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