A & P Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. At which "check-out slot" (1) is the narrator working throughout the story?

2. To what animal does the narrator compare his customers when discussing how they react to seeing the girls in the store?

3. The narrator describes the young woman to whom he refers as "Queenie" (5) as being "more than" (3) what?

4. The narrator asks the reader in reference to females, "Do you really think there's a mind in there or just a buzz like a" what "in a glass jar" (2)?

5. The narrator says that from the front doors of the A and P, he can see what kind of store?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the animal motif included within Paragraphs 1-6?

2. Besides dressing differently than everyone else in the store, how else do the young women stand out?

3. What is ironic about Sammy's reaction when he sees McMahon ogling the young women?

4. Discuss how Updike uses language to indicate the character traits of Sammy.

5. What simile does Sammy use to describe the layout of the grocery store?

6. Provide evidence for the conclusion that there are many people in Sammy's town who are set in their ways.

7. Cite and discuss a unique simile used by Updike within the story.

8. What does Sammy mean when he describes Stokesie "finding his voice" (9)?

9. How is the motif of sexuality included within the story?

10. What sorts of details does Updike use to portray the appearance of the store and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Updike’s messages about guilt and responsibility within the story “A and P.” Focus on elements of the story such as Sammy’s family’s negative reaction to Sammy’s decision to quit his job at the A and P.

Essay Topic 2

Write a critical essay about “A and P” while using the critical power theory lens of Marxist theory. Use textual evidence to back up your strong, specific claim regarding the story's treatment of issues such as socioeconomic status, hierarchies, wealth, class, or any other issues related to Marxist theory that can be found in the short story.

Essay Topic 3

Could “A and P” be classified as a coming-of-age story? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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