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Biographical and Cultural Background Paper on John Updike and his story A&P - Essay Example

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30), John Updike claims his own victory in the world of literature. Among the number of short fictions and novels he wrote, Sammy’s coming of age account in his 1961 short story A & P…
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Biographical and Cultural Background Paper on John Updike and his story A&P
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"Biographical and Cultural Background Paper on John Updike and his story A&P"

Download file to see previous pages By simply reading through the texts, one might not see how much of the American society in the 1950’s Updike has exposed. As such, his attitude towards the issues of the society in which the author lived in was also apparent. The irony in the manner he illustrate the settings and the events in A & P shows how much involved the author was in the different issues surrounding him. His sarcasm and negative point of view about Russia and the Cold War was evident in Stokesie’s character where Sammy narrates that he thinks hes going to be manager some sunny day, maybe in 1990 when its called the Great Alexandrov and Petrooshki Tea Company or something (Kirszner and Mandell, p. 95)
In D. Quentin Miller’s (p. 3) John Updike and the Cold War: Drawing the Iron Curtain, he describes Updike’s writings as those that reveal the underlying truth about the American society during the Cold War era that requires aggressiveness in order to attain its goals. Sammy’s character in A & P shows the same aggressiveness that each single individual in the American society should posses in order to achieve what they aspire for. However, Updike simply did not make his readers live by the disillusion that they could achieve everything they wish for through any aggressive acts, whereas the reality in which risks and disappointments occur as well. A & P’s end clearly shows how Updike sticks to the existent condition in the society rather than a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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A & P by John Updike
When looking at this story through a Marxist lens, one can see that there is the aspect of societal classification and the ethics of a society that is consumer conditioned. The Marxist Socialism school of though holds that those who earn a salary, also refereed to as the working class, are molded by the state they are in, that is, wage-slavery.
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Story: A & P by John Updike
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Merging past and present events in a fast but insightful informal language, Sammy narrates how three young girls entered the A&P supermarket to buy what they need. The story is narrated in a colloquial way that depicts a short but meaningful exchange with a “beautiful but inaccessible girl” (Kirszner & Mandell 46) from a higher socioeconomic class.
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Although Sammy's choice to rebel and quit his job at the grocery store might seem to be the primary purpose of the tale, the setting is the real key to understanding what is actually going on inside the little neighborhood grocery. The theme of "A&P" has to do with how Americans make choices that affect their entire lives based on false promises made to them by an economic system that is based upon turning every idea, object and person into a commodity that can be bought and transformed into a status symbol.
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