How does "A & P" by John Updike work as a story initiation?

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

To ascertain whether John Updike's short story, "A & P," is a initiation story, a definition would be of help. Generally I refer to the story as a "rite of passage" story, but it is, technically, an initiation story. Mordecai Marcus, in his article "What is an Initiation Story?" provides us with the basic history of the initiation story:

The name and analytic concept of the initiation story derive basically from anthropology. The most important rites of most primitive cultures center around the passage from childhood to adolescence to maturity and full membership in adult society. Anthropologists call these rites initiation...

The author then goes on to describe how fiction can reflect the concept of such a ritual, in terms of literature. Alexandra Pulme cites Marcus' work in the following:

In his work about stories of initiation, Marcus offers a provisional working definition which contains the above mentioned...

(The entire section contains 487 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial