John Updike Writing Styles in A & P

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Point of View and Narration

Sammy, a checkout clerk, narrates this story in the first person. His voice is colloquial and intimate. His speech is informal, a factor that highlights his individuality and propensity to question authority. Terms of slang, like describing a dollar bill that had "just come from between the two smoothest scoops of vanilla I had ever known" characterize him as a fairly typical teenage boy. Using the present tense to make the story seem immediate, he speaks as if to a friend—"I uncrease the bill, tenderly as you may imagine"—drawing the reader immediately to his side. Everything that happens, the reader sees through his eyes. When the girls in bathing suits disappear from his view, they disappear from the reader's view, as well.

Sammy's diction indicates that he is probably not a well-educated person. "In walks these three girls," he says at the...

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This section contains 727 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A & P Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A & P from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.