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Comparison of Ella and A&P on the Theme of Rebellion - Essay Example

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Name Comparison of Ella and A&P on the Theme of Rebellion John Updike and Judy Grahn are two popular writers of the twentieth century who gave the readers, a strong sense of who they want to be by portraying in their writings, an element of rebellion and protest against curbing their own desires…
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Comparison of Ella and A&P on the Theme of Rebellion
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Download file to see previous pages The poem reflects on a woman named Ella’s character. The reader senses a cold, strong headed person who, in her circumstances, has to behave in an unsophisticated manner to prove her worth. In order to give an elaborate description of Ella, the poet introduces word-play that gives Ella the rough and fierce look like an animal personified: “She's a copper headed waitress/tired and sharp worded…” She would do anything to protect her little one just like a rattlesnake would do. As opposed to this, the short story A&P by John Updike, is about a teenager who is infatuated by three young girls who have entered the shop A&P where he works behind the cash counter. His infatuation combines with the mistreatment of the girls by the manager, which compels him to quit his job. It is a depiction of a typical emotional and impulsive youth who is raw in his desires and highly sensitive to his imagination that races faster than his capacity to think rationally. He imagines and describes the sensual appearance of the girls, giving each of them a name according to their moves. This also mirrors the twentieth century American society with all its glorification of sexual attraction and adultery. Updike seems to acknowledge the boy, Sammy’s rebellious sentiments against the rigid store policy set by the manager Lengel, who knows Sammy’s parents and warns him that they would not be pleased by his resignation. This also reveals the weakness of the older generation in controlling the youth of their time. By stepping out of the store Sammy is not only independent thinking being but also lonely in his venture: I look around for my girls, but they're gone, of course. There wasn't anybody but some young married screaming with her children about some candy they didn't get by the door of a powder-blue Falcon station wagon. Looking back in the big windows, over the bags of peat moss and aluminum lawn furniture stacked on the pavement, I could see Lengel in my place in the slot, checking the sheep through. (Updike, 1961) This narrative ironically reveals the first-person’s firm belief that what he has done is right and that will make his future brighter. He escapes the society that is conditioned to consumption of goods to live a more meaningful life. On the contrary, Ella is struggling to get her dignity back in place but she is trapped as a waitress and she is dealing with the situation as a common woman who knows only as much as she has experienced. That is why she “…keeps her mind the way men keep a knife…” Grahn portrays a more feministic aspect of Ella who sustains the pain of life and lives it by swallowing her eggs cold and telling lies. Instead of showing submission to the men around her, she has adopted the nature of an annoyed animal that is ready to pounce or sting if disturbed. Being a common woman is the same as being an uncommon one and demands equal respect from the people around her. When Ella does not receive what she wants she becomes rough and aggressive, so much so that she had to shoot a lover for misusing her child. Her hands are nervous, curled, ready to scrape. The common woman is as common as a rattlesnake. (Grahn, 1969) The rebellion is of two kinds as seen above in the works of two distinct writers John Updike and Judy Grahn. Updike has shown a rebellious teenager who is in search of a better and more open-minded ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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