What is the source and nature of the conflict for the protagonist, Sammy, in John Updike's short story, "A & P"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sammy has several conflicts that confront him in John Updike's short story, "A & P." All of them (directly and indirectly) have to do with the store manager, Mr. Lengel. Sammy seems none to happy with the strict regimen of the store, and when Lengel chooses to embarrass the three girls who appear in his store in bathing suits, Sammy chooses to quit. Sammy would probably have not made this decision if the customers had been different, but he was trying to impress the girls by making a chivalric act in their defense. When Lengel tells Sammy that he is making a mistake (Lengel is a friend of Sammy's parents and has probably given him the job for this reason), Sammy rings up a "No Sale" on his register and heads outside to look for the girls. Sadly for Sammy, they have already left and never seemed to notice his actions.