What are some comparisons between Sammy in "A & P" and Connie in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"?

Expert Answers
sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting comparison!  A big difference in understanding the characters, however, is that A&P is first person, so we understand the teenager--we're inside his head--more than we are with Connie in "Where are you...."  But, putting that aside:  Sammy wants to be a hero, but he also takes what he thinks is a stand against the traditional life the A& P represents to him.  In any case, he acts.  Connie, on the other hand, is more of a victim:  she is preyed upon and succumbs.  Sammy is, in a way, seduced by young girls (although they do not do this consciously--it is what they represent that seduces him), and Connie is also seduced by the  opposite sex, Arnold Friend, but he does this very consciously (although it is again what he represents: music, male admiration). A&P ends with Sammy knowing he made an important decision that will change his life, that he has moved from the world of a child into the world of the adult ("I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter"), and Connie too moves from innocence to experience at the end of her story (she sees "so much land" that she "did not recognize except to  know that she was going to it").