A & P Essay

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Peltier is an English instructor at Trinity College and has published works of both fiction and nonfiction. In the following essay, he argues that Updike's story presages the youthful rebellion of the 1960s.

John Updike has been accused of writing extremely well about matters of very little importance. His prose, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, does read beautifully, perhaps more beautifully than anyone writing today. Erica Jong says, in an essay in Robert Luscher's John Updike: A Study of the Short Fiction, that his detractors are "transparently envious" of him. I agree with Jong. Updike's prose style is not separable from the content of his works, and that content is not trivial. The story we are examining here, "A & P," is a fine example, especially since many critics consider it a slight work describing an ultimately insignificant moment in a young man's small life.

A reader skating...

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This section contains 1,594 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A & P Study Guide
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