Sammy in John Updike’s A

John Updike is a well renowned writer and critic throughout the 1900’s. In his time period he was best known for his versatile writing in both his novels and poems. In one of his short stories, A we see his perspective of the world through his narration of the story who we know as Sammy.

Through Sammy’s eyes we see him describe his customers as “sheep” throughout the entire story except for when he becomes captivated by a new customer who he doesn’t consider a sheep. In context, sheep do not have anything to do with this story but when describing his customers, he uses this word to illustrate how they follow the social norms as meek, dull people. In the beginning of the story A, the narrator, Sammy, begins to describe three girls that walk through the doors of A in bathing suits. While Sammy works his normal job at A with his usual customers who he describes as “sheep”, these three young girls capture his attention.

While observing them, he reflects on how their appearance affects the negative setting of the story. They are not sheep. Their nonchalant existence in bathing suits in a store draws attention towards them. Their immediate presence distracts him and as he is ringing up a customer he forgets whether or not he had scanned her item. As he scans it again the customer “gives him hell”, and he begins to describe her as “ one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rogue on her cheek bones and no eyebrows” (163).

While he views everyone in A, including the market itself, in an ugly fashion, one of the three girls introduced, who he calls “Queenie” is a complete exception. While he continues to observe the three girls who entered A, he begins to judgmentally describe them just off of their appearance. The first two girls he describes as generally unattractive and sees no importance in them because of how captivating the third girl was to him. “She was the Queen” (164) wi.

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