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In "A & P," what does Sammy's description of the three girls reveal about his...

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cinnytraynham | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:01 AM via web

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In "A & P," what does Sammy's description of the three girls reveal about his character?

 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:58 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the fascinating aspects of this story is the way in which it reveals the character of Sammy to us through how he looks at the world and perceives objects. It is important to remember that the narration of this story is in the first person, so we see things through Sammy's eyes, and often what he sees is more a reflection on him that it is on what he is actually describing. Consider how he describes the "queen" of the girls:

She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round. She didn't look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white primadonna legs. She came down a little hard on her heels, as if she didn't walk in bare feet that much, putting down her heels and letting the weight move along to her toes as if she was testing the floor with every step, putting a little deliberate extra action into it.

Let us remember that Sammy is an adolescent male, and therefore is pumped full of hormones that are crashing around inside of him. As a normal redblooded male, we can understand his appreciation of Queenie's "white primadonna legs" and the way that he focuses on them. However, what is also interesting is the way in which he also shows how observant he is and picks up on details such as the way that she comes down "a little hard on her heels." This shows that Sammy is not just a sex-crazed teenage boy but also somebody who has an eye for detail and is more observant than the average person.

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