How does the setting in "A & P" reveal the consequences of risk taking?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sammy, the teenaged narrator of the story, works in a grocery store. It is implied that he may have gotten the job because the manager knows his parents. A grocery store must keep running on schedule and there is not really a lot of time for self-expression. When Sammy abruptly quits in protest over the manager's treatment of the girls, Sammy probably expects the manager to apologize to him and he will go right on working. At his age, he doesn't realize the manager also has other employees and can hire someone else to do Sammy's job, so he is not about to let a teenager dictate how he runs the store. He has other customers to think about who were probably offended at the girls' apparel ( or lack of apparel). All the manager does say that Sammy's parents will be disappointed, and he lets Sammy walk out. Then the girls do not even acknowledge his chivalry. Sammy has just learned that one must be careful in making rash decisions because there are consequences to those decisions in the adult world.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting of this story is a grocery store where Sammy is employed.  Sammy is a teenager who learns a valuable lesson about the consequences of rash actions.  Sammy does not take his job very seriously and is going through the motions, so to speak.  He is bored and is watching customers and spots a group of young girls who are picking up an item.  Because Sammy does not take his job seriously, it is expendable for him; however, his job is a serious commitment that he should not take lightly.  He throws his job away to simply try to impress a group of young girls by defending them only to find out that they did not react the way he daydreamed about.  He wanted to be a hero to them, but they have left by the time he leaves the store and he suddenly realizes that he has made a rash decision.