What six quotes in "A&P" depict a character as ignorant? What's the author's main argument about ignorance?

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In the short story "A&P," John Updike explores the nature of adolescent ignorance. Through nineteen-year-old Sammy's story, Updike shows how such ignorance can have a negative impact on one's quality of life.

Consider how the story starts with Sammy making judgmental observations of the customers in the store. For instance, he calls middle-aged female customers "house-slaves in pin curlers" and says that if one of them had been born at the "right time they would have burned her over in Salem." These judgments suggest that Sammy thinks he is somehow better than other people and that he lacks an understanding of other people's life experiences.

His judgments escalate when he talks about the three girls in bathing suits. He judges their bodies in detail, like when he calls one of them "a chunky kid," and he notes, "you never know how girls' minds work." All of these observations show that Sammy is superficial and chauvinistic and lacks an authentic understanding of empathy and respect.

In his ignorance and imagined superiority, Sammy thinks that he can step into the conflict between Lengel and the girls and come across as an impressive hero. Lengel tells the girls that they need to be dressed decently in order to be in the store, and Sammy narrates.

The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say "I quit" to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero.

The fact that Sammy quits because he thinks he will impress these girls is the ultimate expression of his ignorance. This action demonstrates a naïve understanding of how the world works and shows he has no concern for practical responsibilities. The girls ignore his action anyway and leave, but out of pride, Sammy feels he must stick to his decision. Recall how Lengel tries to talk him out of it:

"You'll feel this for the rest of your life," Lengel says, and I know that's true, too, but remembering how he made that pretty girl blush makes me so scrunchy inside I punch the No Sale tab and the machine whirs "pee-pul" and the drawer splats out.

It is interesting to note that Sammy says he "knows that's true," as this suggests that he kind of understands what is wrong about this. But the fact that he still goes through with quitting anyway shows that he is still ignorant. It is not until the final line that reality really starts to sink in as he walks out of the store. He observes Lengel and says,

His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he'd just had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.

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