How does the setting for Updike's story "A&P" play an important part in Sammy's decision to quit?

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Sammy is aspirational, and the A&P represents to him his working-class environment. He feels contempt for the housewives who shop in the store. He doesn't want to be a cashier—we learn that he works there because his family needs the money he brings in.

When the three girls from the glamorous nearby summer beach community come in, led by Queenie and wearing only their bathing suits, Sammie perceives in them a self-confidence that is not a part of his working-class milieu. Knowing nothing about them except that have the audacity to enter the A&P wearing whatever they want, he weaves a story in his mind which is a fantasy account of their sophisticated upper-middle-class lives.

When his manager chides them for their undress and Sammy sees the drabness all around him, a desire for more—and an identification with and yearning to be like the girls—overwhelms him. He feels he can no longer accept his lot, and so he quits. Had he worked in a more glamorous place that fed his aspirations,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 647 words.)

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