Why does Sammy quit his job in "A & P"? Is he less of a hero because he wants the girls to know of his heroism?

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On a hot summer afternoon, three girls walk into the local A&P store wearing nothing but their bathing suits and Sammy, the young cashier, is enchanted by their attractive leader, who he refers to as Queenie. When the girls go to check out their items, Sammy's manager, Lengel, proceeds to...

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On a hot summer afternoon, three girls walk into the local A&P store wearing nothing but their bathing suits and Sammy, the young cashier, is enchanted by their attractive leader, who he refers to as Queenie. When the girls go to check out their items, Sammy's manager, Lengel, proceeds to embarrass and chastise the three girls for entering the store in their bathing suits. In act of empty heroism, Sammy quits his job because he does not agree with Lengel's actions and believes that the girls will appreciate him for defending them. Despite Sammy's motivation to seek approval and recognition from the three girls, I would not consider him less of a hero for quitting his job. After Sammy tells Lengel that he quit and the girls walk out of the store, he still has enough time to take back his comment and change his decision. The fact that Sammy goes through with quitting his job even after Lengel gives him a second chance to stay demonstrates Sammy's heroism and honor. Sammy genuinely felt that Lengel was in the wrong for embarrassing the girls and followed through with his decision to quit even after the girls left the store, which does not take away from his act of heroism.

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Sammy quits his job to try to impress the young girls because he "defended" them.  He was doing what I like to call "showing out," which means he was showing off.  His motivations were purely selfish and he lets his common sense be overrided by his desire to impress the girls.  

Although defending the girls could have potentially been the right thing to do had he handled it appropriately, Sammy is not a hero in my eyes because of his motivations for defending the girls.  True "heroes" do not want thanks and/or attention for doing what they do.  Part of what makes true heroes, in my opinion, is a humble nature and true and pure motivations.

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