A&P Topics for Further Study
by John Updike

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Rewrite the first paragraph of this story in the third person. Why do you think Updike wrote it in the first person? Which version do you think is better? Why?

If three girls in bathing suits walked into your local supermarket, what do you think the reaction would be today? Has society's attitude towards such issues as dress changed or remained essentially the same in the past forty years?

If you were to make this story into a film that takes place today, what song would you have playing over the store's speakers? Think of the themes involved in both the story and the song as you make your decision.

At the end of the story, Sammy says "I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter." Do you think he is insightful or naive about his own character and the future?