“A&P” Critical Analysis
1. Sammy spends a great deal of time thoroughly describing noticeable features about the girls. But, “Queenie” catches his attention most because she is small, pale, and possibly seen as delicate. He makes the point that this grocery store is slow and dreary to the point where 3 young girls in bathing suits are just about the highlight of his day. The store is in a very small town north of Boston, unexciting, and not extraordinarily close to the beach. Knowing the background information given in this exposition indicates to the reader why these girls and this particular interaction at another day of work are significant to Sammy and also to the story as a whole. This says that he has been living an unexciting life, putting in his hours at the store, and likely hasn’t seen much of a glimpse of the “real world” outlying his small, quiet town.
2. The primary description Sammy gives to the A&P’s customers, is referring to them as “sheep” in a way to suggest that they must be herded through the grocery lines. Some of the terms to describe Queenie’s right hand ladies are “chubby berry-face”, “hair that hadn’t quite frizzed right”, and generally traits that he found notably unattractive in comparison to Queenie herself. The introductory paragraph describes a “witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows”. In the other A&P customers, Sammy is only aware of flaw after flaw. But, when it comes to Queenie, he has nothing but positive things to say under an overwhelming attraction to her. When you stand a “witch” up next to a girl that is “more than pretty”, then it is no wonder that these other customers become “foils” to Queenie, and even her less attractive friends.
3. It is in my own opinion, that Sammy’s great appeal comes from the bold statement that the girls made from walking into that grocery store in bathing suits only, makes on its own. In a setting where he has become accustomed to older boring women and...