A quotation that says something about the benefits or the risks associated with nonconformity would be appropriate. Jack Kerouac said, "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." Popular opinion would have led Sammy to condemn the girls behavior; instead, he is...
A quotation that says something about the benefits or the risks associated with nonconformity would be appropriate. Jack Kerouac said, "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." Popular opinion would have led Sammy to condemn the girls behavior; instead, he is in awe of Queenie's resolve. JFK once said, "Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth." If Sammy were to conform to policy, he would be restricted and unable to act on his personal feelings. Rollo May said, "The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity." Sammy is courageous to stand up for the girls, to refuse to conform when he senses injustice. A quotation like one of these would be a great hook for an essay on this story.
In this story, a young man named Sammy sees a group of girls walk into the grocery store at which he works. They are wearing only swim suits, and dressed as such they cause a bit of a disruption with the other shoppers. In addition to their scant attire, they also move against the typical traffic patterns in the store.
Sammy is so distracted by the girls that he makes a mistake ringing up another customer. When the girls eventually come to his checkout counter, Sammy's manager Lengel gives the girls "that sad Sunday-school-superintendent stare" as a result of their clothing. Lengel says that the girls must be "decently dressed," and the leader of the group, who Sammie refers to as Queenie, protests that they "are decent." Lengel cites store policy as the reason for his talking to them, and Sammy thinks, "Policy is what the kingpins want." He thinks of all the other customers as "sheep" who just look on. As the girls leave, he tells Lengel that he quits. He hopes they'll "stop and watch [him], their unsuspected hero."
In short, he wishes for his act of nonconformity to be understood as support for the girls's rebuke of store policy and that they, Queenie especially, will like him for it. When he gets outside, he says, "I look around for my girls," though they are gone, and "my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter." He has chosen not to conform, the more difficult choice to make. Having had a taste of the consequences of nonconformity, he knows that as the kind of person who rejects conformity his life will be more challenging.