John Updike's fictional short story "A&P " is about a young maned named Sammy who works at a grocery store. One day, three girls come into the store in their bathing suits and Sammy's boss, Lengel, embarrasses them by saying they can't come in unless they are "decently dressed." Sammy feels an urge to be a hero and impress the girls, so he tells Lengel that he quits. The girls do not seem to care about this and leave. Lengel then tries to talk Sammy out of quitting, but Sammy feels determined to stick to what he said. In the end, he walks out of the store and realizes how hard life will be from now on.
Updike uses a lot of literary devices in the story. For example, Sammy uses a metaphor when he compares the leader of the girls to a queen. Updike also uses a lot of imagery to demonstrate Sammy's thoughts. Recall how he hears one of the girls speak and says,
All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room. Her father and the other men were standing around in ice-cream coats and bow ties and the women were in sandals picking up herring snacks on toothpicks off a big plate and they were all holding drinks the color of water with olives and sprigs of mint in them.
Phrases like "I slid right down her voice" emphasize how Sammy is lost in thought, and details like "drinks the color of water with olives" help create a clear picture in the reader's mind.
Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm's story "Godfather Death" is different because it is a fairy tale and thus contains many unrealistic, symbolic elements. "Godfather Death" is about a man who is seeking a godfather for his thirteenth child. He meets God, who asks to be the godfather, on the highway, but the man says no, because he thinks God is against poverty. Then, the man runs into the Devil, who also asks to be the godfather, but the man again declines.
Finally, the man encounters Death and makes him the godfather. When the child is older, Death takes him into the woods and tells him he will make the boy a great physician if he follows his lead when he visits any sick person. One day, the boy tries to trick Death to save the king, but Death becomes angry and says that if it happens again, he will kill the boy. Not long after, the boy tries to trick Death again to save a beautiful princess, and, as promised, Death takes the boy's life.
Like Updike, the Grimm brothers also used vivid imagery in their story. For instance, recall the scene in which Death shows the boy the candles that represent how long people have to live. The narrator explains,
There the physician saw how thousands and thousands of candles were burning in endless rows, some large, others medium-sized, others small. Every instant some died out, and others were relit, so that the little flames seemed to be jumping about in constant change.
The description of the candles as "jumping in constant change" provides the reader with a vivid, dynamic image. These candles also symbolize how unpredictable and uncontrollable human life really is.