A&P by John Updike Journal

The chosen passage demonstrates its primary goal of determining how men understand a girl’s mental processes. The main focus of the passage is on knowing girls, just as Sammy is interested in learning more about the beautiful girls in bathing suits. Also, according to the reading, men judge their female counterparts based on their external appearances.
The main character, Sammy, a male, is critical in portraying men’s attitudes toward women in society. According to the verse, Sammy is told that understanding the minds of women is difficult for him. As the opposite sex, it’s predicted that Sammy won’t be able to comprehend the girls’ thoughts. After being attracted by the three girls in bathing suits, Sammy is selective as he is drawn to one of them who he assumes to be the queen. His selection is based on a generalization on the way the girl walks and talks. Additionally, it is ironical how Sammy, a picky person, thinks that girls lack a logical mind, in the sense that he can interpret a girl by laying basis on his imagination.

It seems that the passage is set in an environment dominated by men. The passage elaborates three women who are entering where Sammy and one of them purportedly talk others into entering the place where Sammy is. Sammy assumes that the ‘queen’ has also shown the other two girls on how to walk slow and hold themselves straight. The narration which is done in the second person elaborates that male power supersedes female since it is the men who keep the reasonable minds and, therefore, can govern the women by judging them casually. In fact, the symbolism which depicts the mind of girls as a bee in a glass jar is a demeaning comment on ladies. Resultantly, the author is trying to draw that the way men judge women superficially is wrong and could be a reason why there is male domination over women.

Works Cited

Updike, John. “A & P.” Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 614-619. Print.

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