Does the text of "A & P" address any universal themes?

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write5,840 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

Yes, I would say that the story "A&P" contains some universal themes. I think that is one reason why the story continues to be taught to students in modern day classrooms. If the story didn't have anything applicable to a modern reader, the presence of universal themes would be suspect. The previous answers spoke to the story's emphasis on individuality, and I think that theme is present; however, I would like to focus on a different theme. I think there is a theme of heroism present with the text of this story. Sammy likely quits his job in part to show his individualism, but he also believes that his actions will be seen as heroic by the girls.

The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say "I quit" to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero.

Examining whether or not Sammy is a hero that displays heroic like qualities always sparks lively class discussions. On one hand, Sammy is trying to stand up for the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 803 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write6,892 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write3,297 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial