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In the exposition of Updikes's story "A&P," Sammy makes his first judgments on the girls' appearances. For instance, he describes the tall girl of the three as possessing
a chin that was too long--you know, the kind of gifl other girls thing is very 'striking' and 'attractive' but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they like her so much.
While the obvious judgment of Sammy's is that the girl's chin is too long; the implicated judgment is that other girls like to go around with a girl who is "flawed" because in contrast to her, they will look attractive. Sammy describes the third girl as "the queen," who
leads the others around and salks straight on slowly, on these long white prima-donna legs.
Of course, there are many judgments passed upon people by Sammy such as the usual clinetele of women
with six children and varicose veins mapping their leags and nobody, including them, could care less.
He continues his commentary on the girls who reach the meat counter and are subjected to the ogling of "old McMahon"; at this point his judgments become kinder as Sammy remarks, "Poor kids, I began to feel sorry for them, they couldn't help it." When Queenie brings the jar of herring to the counter, taking a folded dollar bill "out of the hollow at the center of her nubbled pint top," Sammy, unnerved, says, "I thought that was so cute."
"Then everybody's luck begins to run out," Sammy comments as Lengel, the manager, scolds the girls, "Girls, this isn't the beach" and the conflict begins.
Of course, the irony is that Sammy ends up quitting as a show of sympathy for the girls and an act of rebellion against the staus quo. Once outside, Sammy is not so sure that his rebellion against the mores of the older generation has accomplished much as Lengel in his place checks out the customer as though "he'd just had an injection of iron." Sammy concludes that his last judgment has lasting repercussions: "I felt how hard the world was going to be to me herafter." This is his final and much more mature judgment.
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