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Updike possibly built on the character of Sammy as an observant, typical male teen-ager. The current discourse hereby presents an analysis of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, needs and wants that drive Sammy throughout the story.
The motivational drives that embodied Sammy’s behavior first included the biological nature of male adolescents who have developed sexual awareness, as evidenced from his apparent detailed observation and narration of the young ladies’ physical features and appearances. Sammy’s vivid descriptive details of the teen-aged girls’ physical traits focused mostly, not only on what could be seen; but also on what could be imagined. For instance, when Sammy described the first teen-aged girl who fancied his interest, Sammy noted that “She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs” (Updike par. 1).
In addition, as a teen-aged male, Sammy also disclosed that at his age, he still was vaguely aware of how teen-aged girls think. This was evident from the statement that “You never know for sure how girls minds work (do you really think its a mind in there or just a little buzz like a bee in a glassjar?) but you got the idea she had talked the other two into coming in here with her, and now she was showing them how to do it, walk slow and hold yourself straight” (Updike par. 2). The way that the three teen-aged girls walked and behaved apparently intrigued Sammy too much and confirmed his initial thoughts that as a member of the male species, he never could understand how females think.
Another behavior that was exhibited by the protagonist was Sammy’s apparent need to belong; to be accepted as a hero; to be acknowledged as favoring other teen-agers of
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