Do you think Sammy's quitting is a form of rebellion? In what ways?

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kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sammy sees it this way, yes.  By quitting, he is protesting against the unfair treatment of the girls that came into the store by his manager.  In principal/theory, Sammy is taking a stand against his manager being so hateful and cruel to the girls; however, his MOTIVES for doing so are not genuine. 

Sammy defended the girls because he wanted them to fawn over him and thank him for his "brave deed."  He wanted the attention of the girls, so his reason for defending them was not a right one or a good one.  Once he quit his job and walks outside, the girls are not waiting on him to thank him, nor are they waiting to fawn over him.  They have left and gone home.  Sammy is left to contemplate his rash decision and he realizes how difficult real life is going to be!

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sammy quits his job because he is trying to impress the girls who walked into the store wearing only bathing suits.  He is a young boy who is trying to get the attention of the girls that is the main reason that he steps up and says "I Quit."

In a way he enjoys the power that he feels by saying these words, but after he leaves the store and reality sets in, and he sees that there is really no value in his decision, he gets scared.

Sammy's actions are a childish response to a serious matter.  He obviously needs the job, even though he hates it, quitting has consequences, and he deals with those consequences realizing that life would be a lot harder on him if he chose not to follow the rules. 

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think that Sammy quit out of rebellion. I think he sympathized with the girls out of rebellion, but the quitting part was kind of something he had to do regardless since he went head and acted out in front of his manager. What he does is an act of silliness more so than rebellion. In the end he comes out losing both ways: With the girls, and with his job. We all know that he does need that job for one reason or another. Really, he had not many other options but to quit. After all, for sure he will be getting fired really quick.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with other posts. The main theme of this story is actually about wider issues of conformity and the way that the younger generation rage against the values and norms of their elders. Sammy's decision to quit, as the ending suggests, places him on a challenging path for his future, but one in which at least he can be true to himself and live with integrity.

vivian345 | Student

 “A&P” is more than just a story about an immature boy’s quitting just impressing some girls who are embarrassed by his boss. It’s more of a story about the stressed youth’s rebellious attitude towards the traditional society. From this story, we can easily find that “A&P” store in fact is a microcosm of the contemporary society. In the store, we know the young generation like Sammy, always with pent-up tension which comes from their jobs or causes by the hormone have different appreciation for beauty compared with the old generation like “the sheep” or the authority figures. To a certain degree, these stressed young men will inevitably take some action to protest in order to express their disappointment and let off the stress. In this story, the personality and their soundless protest, to a larger scale, coincidentally reflects and gives prominence to the theme.