What are some of the struggles that Sammy faces in "A & P"?Struggles against rules, authority figures, and social systems. 

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A & P, Sammy is a store clerk, bored with his job,

 "He is a checkout clerk at an A & P supermarket. His language indicates that, at age nineteen, he is both cynical and romantic."

uninspired by life until a group of girls, who are only wearing bathing suits come into the store to shop.  Instantly, Sammy is intrigued by the group of ruler breakers, the store prohibits shopping in bathing attire, they should not be in the store without proper clothing.

All day, Sammy watches people shop in the store, equating them with farm animals like sheep.  They are not individuals to him, just a flock following each other mindlessly.  Sammy longs for individuality to distinguish himself.  He gets the chance when the girls walk into the store.

Sammy does not like the manager's attitude toward the girls.  He tells them that they should not be in the store without proper clothing.  Sammy wanting to impress the girls, hoping to join the, stands up for them, and tells his manager that he quits.  He walks out on his job.

Once he gets outside, he realizes that his actions were without thought of consequences.  Now, without a job, he will have a very hard time.  He wonders what he will do next.

He learns a lesson in cause and effect, he quits without thinking and now he will have no money.  Are his principles about girls, who are strangers, really that important?  The girls did not even notice him as they left the store.

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A&P

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