How are the following three images at the end of "A & P" related to Sammy's decision to quit his job?1. The young married woman with her three children screaming about "some candy they didn't...

How are the following three images at the end of "A & P" related to Sammy's decision to quit his job?

1. The young married woman with her three children screaming about "some candy they didn't get."

2. Sammy's glimpse of Lengel,"his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron."

3. Outside the store, "the sunshine...skating around on the asphalt."

Expert Answers
dalepowell1962 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let's look at each part of this question in relation to the ending of Updike's "A & P".

The young married woman with her three children screaming about "some candy they didn't get." A young married woman with three screaming children should be enough to make every teen rethink irresponsible.  Sammy is questioning his own responsibility; he has just quit his job which could be labeled as the height of irresponsiblity, particularly in tough economic times.

Sammy's glimpse of Lengel,"his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron." Lengel's injection is his own self-held moral justification for what he has just done.  He did what he perceives to be right and has undoubtedly heard a few of his age contemprary customers tell him he has done "the right thing". Lengel is flying high with righteousness.

Outside the store, "the sunshine...skating around on the asphalt." This could refer to Sammy's new found freedom--or it could be an assertion that there will be another day for Sammy alluding to the old proverb that the sun will rise tomorrow.