What are some comparisons between John Updike's story "A&P" and Sherman Alexie's novel The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven?

Expert Answers
merehughes eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all "The Lone Ranger..." is not a novel although since the book's characters weave in and out of the stories, some might suggest that it is a novel.  However, in style it resembles a collection of short stories.  So there is the initial comparison - the short story format.  "A & P" is narrated by a teenage narrator and often times the narrator of Alexie's story are also teen-aged or young adults.  More significantly, sometimes in Alexie's stories, the narrator is narrating an event to which the reader is clued in about what the outcome might be but the narrator is not.  This is similar to "A & P" because the reader can get a sense of uselessness of the Sammy quitting but Sammy only realises this at the end.

One major theme comparison is that of choices and consequences.  For example in Alexie's story "All I wanted to do was Dance" the narrator is left with analysing his choices and feeling remorse for some of them.  He must in the same way as Sammy reflect upon the consequences of his rash choice.

Another comparison might be that the narrator Sammy acts differently than the other characters in the story. The other characters react as you might expect them too and only Sammy is different. This difference is highlighted in Alexie's stories as often times he writes about individuality and being different as both an Indian and the world outside the reservation and being different from within.