Analysis of Ian McEwan's "On John Updike" and John Updike's "The allet"
In an article meant to eulogize the late, great writer John Updike, Ian McEwan makes a statement that is confusing unless one understands Updike's background. McEwan says that "This most Lutheran of writers, driven by intellectual curiosity all his life, was troubled by science as others are troubled by God" (McEwan). The eulogizer makes the point that Updike was not troubled by God, but by the technology that had been increasing his confusion about the world he lived in. It is easy to see that the contention McEwan is making with relation to John Updike is that the author was comfortable with his conception of God through "long relationship" (McEwan), but he was uncomfortable with the change wrought in the world by an ever-increasing technology.
To reference this point McEwan uses the author himself, and an…… [Read More]
John Updike's Rabbit, Run
John Updike: The author was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932, and he later attended Harvard University and also the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts, located in Oxford, England. He began his professional writing career by contributing poems, articles and book reviews to The New Yorker magazine (1955-1957). Updike, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1982 for Rabbit Is Rich, has written over 25 books. He is the father of four children, and lives in Massachusetts. It is believed that the central character in Updike's "Rabbit" series (four novels, beginning with Rabbit, Run), was a real-life basketball hero who hailed from Shillington, Pennsylvania, where Updike grew up.
Plot Summary: The central character, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, is an unhappy middle class Pennsylvanian living in the 1950s. He is chained to nightmare jobs selling "MagiPeel Peelers" in supermarkets, and selling Toyotas, jobs that give…… [Read More]
Sammy's sexual attraction to the queen is also shown in this passage, "with the straps pushed off, there was nothing between the top of the suit and top of the head except just her, this clean bare plane of the top of her chest down from the shoulder bones like a dented sheet of metal tilted in the light."
The story also demonstrates a teen's disdain for authority figures, usually older people, and their penchant for going against the rules and not conforming to the norms. Sammy's disdain for authority can be gleaned from the way he described a shopper, "She's one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows… if she'd been born at the right time they would have burned her over in Salem" ("A&P by John Updike"). It appears that for Sammy, older people and authority figures are enemies. On…… [Read More]
Because their shoulders are bare, they are disciplined by the manager for flaunting authority. Their rebellion is short and meaningless, but the cashier's rebellion is absolute, because he quits his job, but it is meaningless as well. Thus, Updike shows that teen rebellion is often misguided and does not accomplish anything in the end.
The conflict in the story is Jim's argument with his boss. He says, "You didn't have to embarrass them," and his boss replies, "It was they who were embarrassing us" (Updike 195). It is a very basic conflict between authority and freedom, and Sammy chooses freedom, because he knows that elementarily he is right. The girls caused no harm, and there was no need to call further attention to them. However, Sammy's conflict with his manager is much more permanent than the girl's conflict. They are already gone and forgotten, while Sammy is not, and may…… [Read More]
1) The fact that the girls are in bathing suits in a supermarket highlights their sexuality. Perhaps the most compelling definition of setting is provided, not by any literary theorist who might opine on the subject, but by Updike through the mouth of Sammy, "it's one thing to have a girl in a bathing suit down on the beach, where what with the glare nobody can look at each other much anyway, and another thing in the cool of the A&P, under the fluorescent lights, against all those stacked packages," which flouts all conventional norms of expected attire and behavior. (Updike, p.206)
This is what makes the girls, however unconscious their sexuality; seem so radical in their stance as they transgress the norms of conventional behavior and attire in the store. "If character is the foreground of fiction, setting is the background," says Burroway. (p.173) But Sammy's character is both…… [Read More]
In his short story "My Father's Tears," author John Updike contrasts his childhood perceptions of his father's tears as the father sent his son away to college on the train with a present-day perspective. As an older man, the narrator now understands what seemed like sentimentality. The young narrator was merely impatient to grow up and was impatient with his father. The main point of the story is the inaccessibility of knowledge and the limited perspective of the young until it is too late. Although Updike's story is very much a product of its place and time -- a mid-20th century New England still filled with old-fashioned Transcendentalists, commuters who go to the city by train, and a society in which smoking is a rite of passage -- the relationships between parents and sons are eternal.
Much of the story evolves in a series of comparisons between the…… [Read More]
John Updike & Nathaniel Hawthorne
John Updike and Nathaniel Hawthorne are two of the most well-known writers to have contributed to the body of American Literature. Updike, the more recent writer of the two, has been considered one of America's most prestigious writers, often honored by collegiate bodies and authoritative figures. Likewise, Nathaniel Hawthorne in his time was recognized and respected, having come from a background commanding some respect. Both authors however, during their life struggled with negative issues; Updike for example struggled with separation and health problems that plagued him since he was a child. Hawthorne struggled with his ancestry who embodied a rigid Puritanical belief system, and also struggled with the poverty of his family that he was never quite able to overcome during his lifetime.
The works of both Updike and Hawthorne tend to have some autobiographical notes. Each author draws from experiences within their own lives.…… [Read More]
Lengel says, "That's all right...but this isn't the beach." And after a counter-protest by another of the three girls, Lengel lectures, "e want you decently dressed when you come in here." For all the readers know, Lengel himself is turned on by the lovely young women, and is only ranting at them in order to gaze at the splendor on display. In any event, Queenie says, "e are decent"; she is definitely becoming agitated, and as the narrator reminds readers, she is acutely conscious of her apparent high social standing, and needn't put up with a pious loser manager in a store "pretty crummy" store. The Sunday school pedagogue has his last say; "Girls I don't want to argue with you. After this come in here with your shoulders covered. It's our policy." He turns his back on the girls. Sammy hasn't rung up the herring fillets yet; but the…… [Read More]
John Updike's "A&P"
"A&P," by John Updike is a short story that in its few pages, says more about love, desire and naivety than many works can in hundreds. The story centers on a seemingly-teenage boy, Sammy, who spends his summer working at a local A&P owned by a family friend. Sammy appears to be a hard-worker, going about his job with ease and precision despite the monotony of the situation, until one day when a group of girls walks into the store -- and everything changes. In viewing Sammy's character development in the short time over which the story takes place, in conjunction with the setting of the story and the theme of desire, readers are able to place themselves into Sammy's shoes and into a mindset in which summer love and desire seem to mean more than anything else the world has to offer.
The setting of the…… [Read More]
John Updike's A&P
John Updike's short story "A&P" mingles themes of sexuality, identity, and conformity. "A&P" is surprisingly complex, given its length. At the outset, the story seems like a peek at a young boy's frustrated sexuality. He describes the scantily-clad girls with curiosity, as an observer of social status and body language. A large portion of "A&P" is devoted solely to the lyrical descriptions of the three girls, their lack of clothing, the color of their skin, their heights, and their interactions with each other. Larry is attracted to them, but more than that, he wants to know their stories: why they entered the convenience store dressed in bathing suits when the nearest beach is five miles away. By noticing the items they select and the aisles they choose to walk down, Larry forms a personal impression of the girls. However, the narrator also addresses them as nonconformists, as…… [Read More]
John Updike's "A&P" Jeanne akatsuki Houston's "Double Impulse,'
Upon first glance, there does not appear to be a wealth of similarities between the short story of John Updike, "A&P," and that of Jeanne akatsuki Houston, which is entitled "Double Impulse" and is excerpted from her memoir called Farewell to Manzanar. The former details a teenage boy's all too brief encounter with a pair of scantily clad girls in a grocery store, while the latter is about the author's growing up in the United States during the time period when Japanese people were interred in the United States. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the central theme at the heart of each of these tales is the forming of one's identity largely through the journey of the events that takes place these stories. Houston slowly forges her identity, which is distinct from her traditional one in Japan…… [Read More]
a&P by John Updike
The Themes of omen Empowerment and Modern vs. Traditional American Society in John Updike's A&P
The short story A&P by John Updike chronicles the contemporary American society and how it treats issues of social stratification among members of the society. ritten in the 1960s, A&P provides an insightful look at the dynamics of gender and socio-economic differences of people in American society. hat is remarkable about this literary work is that it discusses issues on social stratification in the eyes and viewpoint of Sammy, a young man who works at the convenience store A&P. Sammy's character is an interesting and essential factor that gives the issue of social stratification because he serves as Updike's 'commentator' on sensitive issues such as gender discrimination on women and the snobbish and oppressive nature of the elite class in the society. Through Sammy's eyes, Updike's audience is given a holistic…… [Read More]
Individualization in America as Shown in Updike's "A&P"
John Updike's short story "A&P" has been the subject of much scholarly debate over the decades since it first appeared. On the surface a simple tale of youthful lust and rebelliousness, there have been many attempts to read deeper meaning into the story and to assign certain symbolic importance to the adolescent protagonist and other elements of the story. Through an examination of previous criticism on the work and a close reading of the story itself, it will be shown that the character Sammy in Updike's "A&P" symbolizes the emerging individualization of America's youth and it's clash with established norms in post-II society.
Sammy is a nineteen-year-old clerk at the A&P grocery store in a town "five miles from the beachand the women generally put on a shirt or shorts or something" to cover their beach attire in the more modest society…… [Read More]
This interpretation is given further credence by the old butcher's "sizing up their joints."
This has been a contentious point in literature, politics, and the social sciences pretty much since the beginning of recorded history (and probably long before that). Sammy's boss Mr. Lengel does not appreciate the girls' dress, and repeats several times that the a&P is not a beach, eventually demanding that the girls cover up better before coming into the store the next time. Because of the frankness of the description of the girls and the obvious sexual desire expressed by Sammy and the other men, I was not too surprised that the girls' bathing suits earned negative commentary by the end of the story. The girls' reaction, though, did make me realize how much society has changed since the time the story was written. Now, not only do people (especially girls and women) wear much more…… [Read More]
Farm: a Portrait of Relationships
In John Updike's short novel Of the Farm the protagonist, Joey Robinson, is a divorced, thirty-five-year-old Manhattan advertising executive. The story takes place during Joey's visit to his mother, Mary's unfarmed farm with his new wife Peggy and his step son Richard. This book examines the complexities of familial relations and the ramifications of divorce as well as the difficulties of dealing with an aging parent. Updike takes on the realities of the life of an uprooted man with a broken marriage and a new wife, whose dealing with the sadness of being separated from his children as well as his relationship with his stepson, and the complex, love / hate equation he shares with his old mother. Joey has pent up resentment against his mother for various reasons; for making his father move to the farm from a life in the suburbs, for refusing…… [Read More]
Sammy, the narrator of John Updike's short story "A&P" is a young man who works as a supermarket cashier in a small town. Almost the entire story takes place in the market, describing a series of events leading up to Sammy quitting. Sammy is a first-person unreliable narrator, making the teenager an interesting character providing a unique perspective on the events that unfold. Through Sammy's eyes, the reader witnesses the violation of social norms. A group of young girls who are Sammy's age walk through the store in their bathing suits because is summertime and they have been at the beach. Sammy's reaction to the girls is first one of lust, as he stares at their bodies and especially develops a crush on one he calls Queenie. His friends and coworkers, also male, react the same way except for the store manager, Lengel. Lengel is of an older generation, which…… [Read More]
Sammy's Muses in Updike's "A&P"
John Updike's "A&P" tells the story of Sammy whose life is transformed after three girls visit the store where he is working and are humiliated by the store's manager. The A&P where Sammy works offers the readers insight into the quotidian life of middle-class suburbia, while on the other hand, the three girls, whom Sammy nicknames Queenie, Plaid, and Big Tall Goony-Goony, represent rebellion and allow Sammy to recognize and realize the freedom he longs for. In "A&P," Sammy's defense of the three girls is superficially both egalitarian and sexist and serves as an excuse to break free from suburban normalcy.
Queenie, Plaid, and Big Tall Goony serve as the impetus for Sammy's ruminations on suburbia, sexism, and capitalism and corporate culture. Sammy sees the girls as being a rebellion of suburbia. They do not appear to conform to society's expectations of dress…… [Read More]
UPDIKE VS. PETRY
The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two short stories -- John Updike's "A&P," with Ann Petry's "Like a Winding Sheet."
THE TWO STORIES
Updike's story centers on Sammy, the central character and the narrator. He is working in an A&P Store, probably sometime in the 1960s, as a cashier. He sees everything that goes on in the store during the day, and learns something about himself as the story progresses. Sammy is a typical 19-year-old when the story opens. He does not like his job, and he is flexing his muscles against the authority and inflexibility of the people who manage his store. He calls the customers "sheep," and is afraid he may become like them.
Three girls enter the store, and Sammy immediately notices them. They are only wearing bathing suits, and they practically parade around the store as they search for…… [Read More]
. . "
"I don't recall having sold the house," Ned said, "and the girls are at home."
In the narration Ned continues on his journey home. Once he is home it is revealed that his house is indeed empty and his wife and daughters are gone. This is just one example of the conflict that exist in this narration between was is reality and what is illusion.
In addition to this aspect of conflict in The Swimmer, there is also a great deal of conflict associated with Ned's ability to swim across the county. This conflict exist because Ned also drank strong alcoholic beverages throughout his journey. It would have been next to impossible for him to swim after he had consumed just a few of these drinks. This is an obvious conflict that would have hindered his journey but the author presents it as fact and not…… [Read More]
The Fight for Life in Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" and John Updike's "Dog's Death"
Death has proven to be an inspiration for many poets and has been written about throughout history. These poets look at death from differing perspectives and many have argued that it should be fought against while others are more submissive to the concept. In "Do not go gentle into that good night," written by Dylan Thomas (1951), and "Dog's Death," by John Updike (1993), take a stance that accepting death is unnatural and that a person or any living being should fight until the end. In "Do not go gentle into that good night," Thomas argues that death is something that should be fought against and that a person should only succumb to their end when he or she is ready. On the other hand, in "Dog's Death,"…… [Read More]
And there is Nelson, arry's son, a drug addict whose dependence is pushing him toward a mental breakdown.
Updike touches on the spiritual awareness of American's during a conversation between arry and his friend Charlie Stavos. "What do you think you are champ?" asks Charlie when arry questions his choice to have pig valve replacement surgery. "A god made one of a kind with an immortal soul breathed in. A vehicle of grace. A battle field of good and evil. An apprentice angel. All those things they tried to teach you in Sunday school, or really didn't try very hard to teach you, just let them drift in and out of the pamphlets back there in that church basement buried deeper in his mind than an air-raid shelter."
In the course of the novel, Updike comments on the overabundance of information available through the media. "There is just no end…… [Read More]
He can be considered a hero of sorts in that he does stand up for what which he believes. Regardless of whether or not his ideas are logical, he is forming ideas and opinions and standing up for them. There is no doubt the act of quitting is impulsive and there is not doubt that, initially, Sammy does it for the girls. In fact, he admits that he hopes to become their "unsuspected hero" (1420). hen Sammy pitches his work apron to the counter, he is alone with no one applauding him. In addition, it is safe to assume that the girls are never aware of his action. However, this is the kind of thing that creates a teenager. Bravado coupled with an attitude is what teenage angst is all about and Updike captures these characteristics perfectly in Sammy. Sammy does not have any cheerleaders waiting for him after he…… [Read More]
Characters in American Fiction
Two terms used that are to describe characters are static and dynamic, which mean rarely or never changing, and constantly changing, respectively. This paper provides an analysis of the characters of Sammy in the short story "A&P" by John Updike and Louise Mallard in the short story "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin to determine whether these characters are static or dynamic. Drawing on supportive quotations from the two short stories, a discussion concerning who the person is at the start and end of the story is followed by an analysis of whether constant changes were a good thing for the dynamic character. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues are provided in the conclusion.
Review and Analysis
"Sammy" in John Updike's "A&P"
This short story is set in the early 1960s in a small town somewhere north of…… [Read More]
"(Kennedy and Gioia, 128)
Sammy sees the other shoppers for what they are - not individuals, but as the components of a system, a mere " herd," their personalities limited to the very automatic gestures and directions imposed by the "shopping list": "You could see them, when Queenie's white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed. I bet you could set off dynamite in an a&P and the people would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering 'Let me see, there was a third thing, began with a, asparagus, no, ah, yes, applesauce!."(Kennedy and Gioia, 129) Queenie's "white shoulders," bare and indicative of purity, are the symbol of the natural, uncensored by social rules world of " the beach," whereas the " consumers " are symbols of…… [Read More]
Distinctly from John Updike's teenage character Sammy in his short story "A&P," who realizes he has just become an adult; Connie as suddenly realizes she feels like a kid again. Now she wishes the family she usually hates having around could protect her. The actions of the fearsome Arnold, are foreshadowed early on, when he warns Connie, the night before, after first noticing her outside a drive-in restaurant: "Gonna get you, baby" (paragraph 7). From then on, Arnold's quest to "get" Connie feels, to Connie and the reader, in its dangerous intensity, much like the predatory evilness of malevolent fairy tale characters, e.g., the Big Bad olf, or the evil stepmothers (and/or stepsisters) that fix on Snow hite, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and other innocent young female characters as prey. And Connie at the end of "here Are You Going, here Have You Been" wishes, like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow…… [Read More]
This skilled use of ironic prose is also observable in "A Jury of her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, as when the woman who has just committed murder tells the investigators: "after a minute...'I sleep sound.'" the tale depicts how a group of women gradually deduce, through small and simple clues, how Mrs. right killed her husband, and why. The women's observations are more astute than the male investigator's analysis, according to police protocols. The point of the story is not murder, but the fact that the murder's quiet wifely desperation has gone ignored for so long, and that only fellow female sufferers can see this sorrow after the fact. Likewise, the point of O'Connor's story, more than the lurid aspects, are the ways that families and human beings fail to connect and communicate with one another, before it is too late.
A naysayer might sniff and ask why use murder…… [Read More]
corpse strangled with the rope still around his neck, the first thing I wanted to do was to remove the rope. Because the look on the dead body's face was horrible, and obviously the rope was what was responsible for the death, and also for the horrible look on the corpse's face, with bulging bloodshot eyes and the tongue sticking out. But Harry went and looked at the body to make sure that he was dead, and then basically Harry told me that this was a crime scene, so we shouldn't disturb any possible evidence. So we didn't take the rope off, and instead we went to talk to the victim's wife. She hadn't moved from the last time we saw her; she was just motionless in her chair. I asked her if she had told anybody about her husband's death, and in a weirdly non-emotional way she said that…… [Read More]
classic story A&P, John Updike pays tribute to two Greek motifs, the heroic epiphany leading to the emergence of the classical hero and the power of beauty. In this work, Sammy is the hero, trapped in the work-a-day world, who because of beauty's inspiration is motivated to seize the opportunity to act in grand and noble fashion. Like many heroes, especially Paris, in Homer's Iliad, Sammy is inspired to his realization by the appearance and attention of a goddess. In Paris' case, depending on the storyteller, the goddess was Venus or Eros or Aphrodite -- the goddess of love and beauty. In Sammy's case it was a teenage girl in a swimsuit. Updike's portrayal of Venus is actually an echo of an echo, as he gives us a vision of Venus as she is realized in Botticelli's 15th century painting.
As is the case with Venus and Paris, the goddess…… [Read More]
conflict which has repercussions in the present time or one that is indeed actual. The following chosen conflict can actually be regarded as conflictive on two grounds which makes it all the more so important. First, hydraulic fracturing has been demonstrated to have severe environmental consequences on a negative scale which subsequently affect people's well-being. Second, as a technological development of the twentieth century, hydraulic fracturing, provided that the aforementioned is indeed true, would constitute reasonable grounds to estimate that the effects of industrialization have been detrimental to the common interest of the mere population while it has only boosted more financial benefits for the rich. The two grounds mentioned before make hydraulic fracturing a very current dangerous conflict which is why it has been chosen here. Moreover, certain companies seem to be given the right to drill internationally while the population is not made aware of the consequences, especially…… [Read More]
At the end of the story, we see the big windows, "bags of peat moss and aluminum lawn furniture stacked on the pavement" (1421) as Sammy walks away from the only world outside his home the he knew. These images successfully allow us to see the boys as boys rather than men.
Language becomes a significant aspect of both stories in that it allows us to see the boys and the worlds in which they live. Dialect in "The Man ho as Almost a Man" gives us a clear image of Dave's world and, by doing so, provides additional reasons for him to become a man. He wants to be respected in a town where African-Americans work for white people and a sense of equality is absent. hen Dave comments that he wants respect, what he wants is to be considered a man regardless of color. In "A and P,"…… [Read More]
True heroes do not worry about what others think, they do what they know is right for them, and that makes Sammy a true hero. He may disappoint his parents, but he will not disappoint himself - ever. He also realizes that he has grown up in the few minutes it takes for the story to take place. He thinks to himself, "my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter" (Updike 19). He knows that nothing will ever be as easy as it was to quit his job for the right reasons. He understands he will have to face his actions, and that is a step toward maturity. In maturing, he is also heroic, because he understands his actions cause reaction in others, such as his family. Thus, he is becoming more responsible, even though his actions might seem…… [Read More]
At te climax of the story, the action breaks down somewhat and it is difficult to understand exactly what happens; though told in the third person, the story takes place from the girl's perspective, and she is herself highly confused by both her sexual response and her intense fear by the end of her encounter with the strange man. Still, it is clear that she ends up leaving the house with him, and her stepping out of the door marks the end of the story. Controlled by her sexuality -- represented as the strange spell that the man seems to have cast over her -- more than her fear, the protagonist ultimately steps away from the safe world of her childhood into the unknown but already guessed-at dangers that await her in the company of men.
Parallel Paths, Different Directions
There are some significant similarities as well as some important…… [Read More]
This never happens. It is important to note, however, that regardless if the girls heard him or not, Sammy was the hero because he followed through. He knew his life would change and he knew things would not be as he had imagined but he was willing to accept that. Like the narrator in "On the Rainy River," he does not realize the impact his choice will have on his life.
Both characters reflect momentarily on their families as they make their decision. The narrator in "On the Rainy River" thinks of the slaughterhouse he worked in all summer and compared the direction of his life to that factory noting, "my life seemed to be collapsing toward slaughter" (O'Brien 43). He recognizes his lot in life stating that he was simply "an ordinary kid with all the ordinary dreams and ambitions, and all I wanted was to live the life…… [Read More]
societal expectations play a part in "The Sorrowful Woman."
The protagonist in Gail Godwin's short story "A Sorrowful Woman" demonstrates not only the ways in which people's lives can become compromised and limited by their attempts to meet the expectations of others but also the ways in which we each internalize those expectations. This is the real harm that limiting attitudes like racism and sexism have, as Godwin shows us: Not that other people try to limit what we can accomplish in our lives but that we ourselves also begin to believe that we are not good enough to be, as Dickens so eloquently summarized it, the heroes of our own lives.
The story tells about a woman who has become so used to following the societally determined and enforced rules of conduct for a wife and a mother that she is no longer capable of living in an atmosphere…… [Read More]
In "The Secret Life of alter Mitty," Mitty escapes the reality of his manhood with daydreaming. He does this because his wife emasculates him. For Mitty, daydreams are better than dealing with a bothersome wife. Mitty is a real man in his mind as he fantasizes about saving the Navy hydroplane. Mitty is not happy and he argues with his wife over such things as overshoes. He is no doubt a curmudgeon, as we see when he calls the parking lot attendant "damn cocky" (Thurber 1361). Mitty is unlucky in life but we have to wonder how much of this is his fault. Many would look at him and see nothing that resembles a real man. His imagination is his escape, which makes Mitty happy, as he declares himself "undefeated" and "inscrutable" (1364). Mitty might know how to escape his awful world but he is taking a chicken's way out.…… [Read More]
It is due to inadequate "civilized amenities," meaning, that people are subjected to drinking water that is contaminated by feces. It can also be treated with lots of fluids and electrolytes, but these countries do not have the knowledge or resources to save people from dying from cholera.
8. John Updike Down the River In what respectis Uncle Tom's Cabin superior to Huckleberry Finn?
Because the black man, Jim, in Twain's story, is a more realistic person. He is responsible, and has dreams of buying his deaf daughter's freedom, while experiencing his freedom on the raft. Uncle Tom is not a genuine character.
9. Elizabeth Kolbert Dead Reckoning Why have the Turks refused to acknowledge the Armenian genocide?
The Turks are afraid of losing their identity as a nation. They do not want to admit that their existence as a nation is the result of war crimes.
They want the…… [Read More]
A&P and the Lesson
The short stories A&P and The Lesson John Updike and Toni Cade Bambara explore the perceptions of young people as they stand at the threshold of adulthood. Updike's story, set in a grocery store in a small New England town, is about Sammy, a young white male cashier. Bambara's takes place in New York City outside the famous F.A.O. Schwartz Department Store, and is told from the perspective of Sylvia, a young African-American female.
A&P was published in 1961 at a time when the beliefs and values of the status quo were beginning to be questioned by the next generation. Rock n Roll was relatively new and the beat generation was a precursor to the hippie movement. The counter culture was yet to go main stream.
Briefly, Sammy is working at the cash register when three young ladies came into the store in their bathing suits.…… [Read More]
They went into a spending frenzy that would carry them though the next decade. They bought houses, started families and settled down to a life of normalcy after a decade of chaos. Illustrations began to return to resemble that of fine are of earlier times.
The Invitation. Ben Stahl. Date unknown magazine photo. Al Parker. Date unknown
ise of the Atomic Age (1950-1960)
The prosperity that came with the end of the war continued into the new decade. Americans attempted to settle into a life or normalcy. There was a significant return to traditional gender roles, as many women were forced back into the household and the men went off to work as usual. Women, now used to providing for themselves represented a new target market. To fill their days they read the "seven sisters" (McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, edbook, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen, and Women's Day). These magazines began…… [Read More]
While we are shown the fact that Sammy, ogles the girls and makes a queen of the leader. On one hand while he feels no pang in doing so he is disgusted by the butcher's lustful gaze. (Saldivar, 214)
There is rebellion when the manager who is a puritan rebukes the girls. The only outrage that the manager, Lengel, seem to have done is to make the queen blush. Thus Sammy quits his job against an authority that demeans people. The girls seem neither to have noticed the managers' consternation or admonition nor have they noticed Sammy standing up for them. Sammy gains nothing but loses his job in the bargain. (Saldivar, 215)
There was parody of other works for which Updike is noted. Here in this story too, apart from Araby we find the parody of the classic Vanity Fair. Parody of the Vanity Fair can be seen in…… [Read More]
One instance of this strategy is the self-therapy suggested by the Speech Foundation of America which is focused on the assumption that stuttering is not a symptom, rather a behavior which can be corrected. (Sadock; Kaplan; Sadock, 2007)
Stutterers have been advised that they can learn to control their problems in part by correcting their feelings regarding stuttering and mindset towards it and in part by correcting the abnormal behaviors linked with the blocks that come to the forefront during stuttering. The strategy covers desensitizing i.e. lowering the emotional reaction to and uncertainties revolving stuttering and substituting positive action to control the moment of stuttering. The latest mature strategies concentrate on the aspect of restructuring fluency. The complete speech production pattern is remolded with emphasis on a series of target behaviors, covering reduction of rate, simple or gentle starting of voicing, and even shift between sounds, syllables as also words.…… [Read More]
Such a parsing of into which school Samuel Beckett can be slotted may seem to be nothing more than intellectual engagement -- not that there is anything wrong with this -- but it also serves as an important way of assessing both the "Irishness" and the humor of Beckett's writings. Unlike a writer like John Synge, for example, or illiam Butler Yeats, Beckett is generally not clearly identifiable as Irish from the dialect or settings or historical references in his writings. (This is especially true, of course, once he begins to write in French.) But there are hints of his nationality in this back-and-forthing that he does with literary genres and literary conventions. Such liberty with self-identification in terms of artistic identity is not solely Irish, of course. But an unwillingness to be categorized neatly does seem to be clearly associated with colonial identity. Ireland in Beckett's time was still…… [Read More]
Simile -- A common device in poetry is the use of comparisons, often comparing something unusual or uncommon with something that is more familiar to the reader or audience. One kind of comparison is the simile, which uses the words like or as and compares two things that are dissimilar in order to bring about a fresh view and new meaning.
An example of a simile that does this is found in Margaret Atwood's "You fit into me," in which she describes the fit of two lovers to each other as "like a hook into an eye." The reader imagines a hook and eye on the band of a skirt or the back of a bra, but then Atwood changes the significance of the simile by becoming more specific. She adds the explanation "A fish hook ... An open eye." The extended simile creates a very painful image of being…… [Read More]
"Greasy Lake" is one of the most notable, readable and critically acclaimed contemporary short stories written by T. Coraghessan Boyle. The fact that he took the a line and an idea from the iconic, venerable rock star Bruce Springsteen has gained Boyle's book a lot of press although the story stands on its own as a piece of biting social satire, mixed with humor and drenched in bad behavior, felonious sexual behaviors, and alcohol. Not all critics praise this story, however, because though well written, it is very dark, sometimes it stretches credulity a bit too far, and the behavior of the characters is mindlessly violent and morally bankrupt.
The Greasy Lake Story
"…Thirty-three percent of teenagers experience problems at home, school, work or the in community stemming from substance abuse. The fact that teenagers become addicted more quickly than adults contributes to these problems… between…… [Read More]
Huge esearch Project
The conflict of the individual vs. society is a timeless conflict that plagues each and every one of us. It is an integral part of our genetic make-up so that despite everything we as individuals need to be part of society as our need for interdependence is so great. And that is the reason why the conflict of individual and society persists with no panacea for it, and will continue to be a war waged with either one triumphing over the other as the situation warrants.
Freud's psychoanalytic theory might have stirred up a controversy, but it was able to aptly indicate the everyday conflict that man faces being part of the society. His theory with id as the primal instincts that humans follow, the ego as the regulator and the superego as the philanthropist has enabled us to pinpoint the probable causes of this ubiquitous conflict…… [Read More]
stand on the same level as the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution of 1917, because the changes that it implied were not achieved by the thorough bloodshed that these two encountered, there were many keen to develop the subject of radicalism in the American Revolution, mainly through the changes it implied after its achievement rather than through the means these changes were obtained during the Revolution itself.
In this sense, perhaps the first idea we should be referring to when discussing the Radicalism of the American Revolution is the fact that it was a "catalyst of social change"
The American society up to the Revolution was characterized by the same hierarchical structures that dominated every territory of the ritish Empire. As a colony, the American territories were ruled by the King's representative, who was on top of the pyramid. The aristocracy, mostly ritish, subsequently followed down the line, including…… [Read More]
motivates people successful?" I 2 sources... I MLA conventions document formatting it audience peers experts topic.
hat motivates people to be successful?
Sometimes, when a very successful individual is interviewed by the media, he or she is asked: what drives you? Now that you have amassed a large fortune and much critical acclaim, why do you continue to strive for the top? hy continue to challenge yourself? hy did the tennis great Martina Navratilova continue to pursue a career in doubles, even after retiring from women's singles, and why is she now competing on Dancing with the Stars? hy did the author John Updike continue to write novel after novel, right up to his death? hy is the great film director Martin Scorsese still making films, even after winning Oscars? Clearly, these individuals are not striving for public acclaim alone or money. They simply love what they are doing. That…… [Read More]
biggest online book retailers based in the United States are Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, although the latter retains a major retail store presence. The websites of these two retailers are similarly organized, and prices are comparable. The following list of books will illustrate that Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com offer similar discounts on their products. I Am Charlotte Simmons is a brand new release by author Tom olfe. Amazon.com states the list price as $28.95; their discounted price as $19.69. Also, the book is "eligible for free super saver shipping." The same book sells at BarnesandNoble.com for $20.26, less than a dollar more than the Amazon.com price, which is 32% below list. Similarly, Joyce Carol Oates' latest novel, The Falls, is priced 32% below publisher's list, at $18.33 by Amazon.com and is 30% below list at Barnes and Noble, at $18.86. The Plot Against America, a new novel by Philip Roth, is listed…… [Read More]
Poem -- Version 1: "next to of course god america i"
"next to of course god america i" E.E. Cummings
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Short Writing: Paraphrasing a scene from a play
Short Fiction -- John Updike -- "A&P"
Short Writing: Describing a Poem
Short Writing: Paraphrasing a scene from a play
Short Story - Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Short Story - A Good Man Is Hard to Find
In my literary analysis essays, I have endeavored to discover why I thought an author wrote a particular piece, how they think about their work, and why they made the choices they did with regard to theme, character development, and use of literary devices. I have also attempted to make my own perspective transparent in my writing, and through this effort,…… [Read More]
Perspectives of Death
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is one of Dylan Thomas's most recognized poems. In the poem, he urges his father to fight against death even though it is something that everyone must at some point in his or her lives have to accept. On the other hand, Emily Dickinson, in "Because I could not stop for Death," accepts death as a natural part of life and unlike Thomas, does not combat it. Dylan Thomas and Emily Dickinson approach the topic of death from different perspectives with Thomas attempting to rebel against the inevitable and Dickinson passively submitting to her end.
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" was written for Thomas's dying father and is stylistically structured as a villanelle where only two sounds are rhymed. The poem is composed of 19 lines, rhyming the first and third lines, with an alternation…… [Read More]
Graham Greene's novel The Power and the Glory (1940) is one of his works that the author himself identified as a Catholic story, and it is clearly concerned with issues of Catholicism in both theory and practice. The novel is set in Mexico in the 1930s at a time when the Church was in conflict with the political powers in Mexico. Greene gives his story an allegorical structure, with the two opposing forces represented by the hiskey Priest and the Lieutenant of Police, neither of whom is ever named beyond this identification with their jobs and roles in life. The metaphorical framework for the novel evokes images of death, leading ultimately to the death of the priest but also suggesting the death of a corrupt religious order. The novel was deemed anti-Catholic by the Church, which sought to have it banned for a time, though the novel is more critical…… [Read More]
The Representation of Muslim Women in Eastern and Western Literature: A Comparison
Representations of women in Middle Eastern literature represent a means by which the appreciation, perspective and overall role of women and how they are viewed by society can be determined. While some argue that literature and actually lived daily life are separate, literature serves as a measuring stick by which one can ascertain a definitive viewpoint on what the experience of being a Muslim woman is, and how such women are viewed. Literature can tell one volumes about how societies work and underscore the role that women play or don’t play and how others see them. While both eastern and western literature is incredibly vast, it is possible to get a definitive sense of how Muslim women are viewed; however, it is possible to get an overall sense of certain trends that arise over and over. This paper…… [Read More]
A number of daily newspapers reports tales concerning leaders who have failed to deliver the anticipated results. Many people are delighted by leaders who produce the desired results. Moreover, these leaders are frequently commemorated because of their exemplary work. These successful leaders are often imitated by several people. In addition, several people perfect on the conduct of these successful leaders. The daily newspapers and even radio and television stations makes it a habit of sharing vital information regarding a successful leader who has just passed on. Those individuals in a society who usually compel others to attain certain objectives within a society are usually listened to and respected by others. Many articles in newspapers are usually designed to offer worthwhile information concerning how well individuals can become effectual leaders in the society. The main information includes how an individual should be attentive and how s/he ought to unite with his/her…… [Read More]
Lust" to "A&P," "Girl" and "A Sorrowful Woman" both similarities and differences can be seen, with these noticeable in relation to the themes present, the protagonist character of each, the perspective and the way the story is told.
The main obvious difference between "Lust" and "A&P" is the nature of the protagonist. In "Lust" we have the female and in "A&P" the male. The character in "Lust" takes the place of the girl in the supermarket which Sammy lusts after. Sammy and the girl in "Lust" are looking at the situation from opposite angles. The similarity between the works is that they both focus on the same situation, that of finding one's place in society and especially finding one's place as a man or woman. In "Lust" the character remains almost unaware of the man's viewpoint, she simply reacts, giving them what they want as it is easier than refusing.…… [Read More]
The idea that I am brainstorming is the idea of a bully who pushes his weight around and says cruel things at the drop of the hat. This will be the starting point. However, through the feedback from others and the isolation that is encountered as a result of the bullying, including a pivotal point that is the climax of the story, the bully will realize just how caustic and vile they are acting and will try to change for the better. The bully redeeming one's self is obviously not going to be automatic as people will be leery of the bully because of his prior actions and changing one's personality so completely and so quickly can be disorienting and it can take a lot of adjustment. The lesson topics is whether or why people trust others, why people bully others and how hard it can be to change…… [Read More]
The choice cannot be repudiated or duplicated, but one makes the choice without foreknowledge, almost as if blindly. After making the selection, the traveler in Frost's poem says, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back" (14-15). And at the end, as one continues to encounter different forks along the way, the endless paths have slim chance of ever giving the traveler a second choice. One can see this as similar to Mrs. Mallard's change. As she looks out into the future, she sees endless possibilities for choice and nothing feels like she would ever return to the determinate state of marriage.
The final two lines of "The Road Not Taken" say, "I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference" (19-20). Unlike in Chopin, the traveler determines to take the path. In Chopin, the path forces…… [Read More]
The existence of true love has been a debate among writers, authors, and philanthropists for years. There are many things in this world that we as people share together, but nothing else can bare, mend, or even heal like love. Every place we go and everything we see has in some point in time been touched by some form of love. It is through stories and poems that we indeed do find the existence of true love. I believe that stories and poems provide us with the necessary evidence to prove that true love does exist and we will analyze these poems and stories in the following work to indeed provide evidence of its existence. We find that true love does exist and it is real, when we analyze the writings of those who are most known for acknowledging it. In our world today, society explains love as…… [Read More]
Settings: Dulce et Decorum Est and the Open Boat
The two pieces of literature chosen for comparison for this essay both reflect the insignificance of life and the arbitrary nature of the universe. Both works are set to reflect man's struggle to survive under extraordinary circumstances. Dulce Et Decorum Est by ilfred Owen is a poem set on the battle fields of the First orld ar. The Open Boat by Stephen Crane is set on a life boat on a raging sea. In Owen's poem it is society that is indifferent to the significance of a man's life, while in Crane's short story it is nature that is indifferent to the significance of a man's life. Both works take place in the early twentieth century. In each case men are thrown together because of circumstance and are faced with life and death situations.
Owen's poem speaks of the horrific…… [Read More]