A&P Questions and Answers
by John Updike

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In "A&P" by John Updike, what kind of person is Sammy?

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In "A&P" by John Updike, Sammy can be described as both narcissistic and hypocritical. His attitude towards others in the store is negative - and in the case of the three young girls, rather creepy. Additionally, he appears to think highly of himself, despite the fact that it is his duty to serve those he deems inferior. This characterization makes it hard to sympathize with his realization at the end of the story of "how hard the world [is] going to be to [him] hereafter."

Sammy's problematic attitude becomes evident at the very beginning of the story when he becomes distracted by the three young girls:

"I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. I ring it up again and the customer starts giving me hell. She's one of these cash-register-watchers, a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows, and I know it made her day to trip me up."

Despite being responsible for the mistake, he transfers blame to the woman by...

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