In "A & P", how are the characteristics of the customers foils for Queenie and her friend?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The other customers are described as much older women who would not look very good in a bathing suit. Sammy refers to them as "sheep", a rather drab description. Others are described as housewives "in pink pin curlers". Queenie, on the other hand is dressed in a bathing suit with "one strap seductively off her shoulder." She has a shapely body and probably comes from  "an upper middle-class world of backyard swimming pools and fancy hor d'oeuvres."  Sammy thinks that Queenie and her friends are probably "sore because the place that runs the A & P looks pretty crummy." That is one of the reasons that he tries to take up the girls' case with the store manager. He thinks the girls should be treated differently because they probably come from a higher class than most people in the store. Lenger, the store manager, is more concerned with the poor impression the girls make on the other customers in the store. The girls are thus foils for the customers in the store