WHAT ARE THE MAJOR THEMES IN "A & P" by John Updike?

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John Updike often wrote about adolescent and young adult male minds (See: Rabbit series). They often act rashly with their sexual urges and drives, pushing them to make unwise decisions. This folly of youth plagues the 19-year-old narrator, Sammy, who decides to be an "unsuspected hero" to three young women wearing their bathing suits into the store where he works.

When these three girls wearing bathing suits walk into Sammy's store, he diverts all of his attention to them, particularly the one in the "plaid green two-piece ... a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs." He watches her and the one he calls "Queenie" as they make their way around the store scantily clad. His narration suggests he believes everyone else in the store is watching them the same way, but this is somewhat ambiguous due to the narrator's unreliability. What is for sure...

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