Essay Topic 1
Explicate the theme of conformity within Updike’s story “A and P.” What is Updike’s message regarding conformity and how do you know? Be sure to consider characters that may represent conformity or its opposite.
Essay Topic 2
Look carefully at Sammy’s language use throughout the story. What is Updike’s purpose for shaping Sammy’s voice in the way that he does? For example, why does Updike often choose to put grammatically incorrect phrasing into Sammy’s mouth, while also choosing a word like “hereafter” (32) for Sammy’s final line of narration within the story?
Essay Topic 3
Determine Updike’s message regarding the phenomenon of the male gaze.
Essay Topic 4
What is Updike’s message concerning the link between integrity and suffering?
Essay Topic 5
Trace the characterization arc of Sammy’s character throughout the story. Discuss whether Sammy is a round or flat character...
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