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First, I think that this question needs to be moved to the Discussion board. I am sure you will receive many different initial reactions to Updike's story there.
I must say that my first reaction to the story A&P is one of sadness. Sammy most certainly wanted the girls to understand the importance, and symbolism of his quitting, but their quick exit from the store, paired with their embarrassment, keeps them from noticing.
I have to admit that my sadness comes from the fact that Sammy thought he was doing the right thing. Unfortunately, Sammy's actions went unnoticed (a common thing in today's society). People today are simply in too much of a rush to notice the things others do for them. At the same time, I feel embarrassed for Sammy. I feel like he was not given any reason to quit (simply based upon the fact that the girls were berated and not him).
In the end, A small piece of me remembers that chivalry is not dead. Unfortunately, chivalry is not noticed either.
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