• April 9th, 2016

UPDIKE, “A & P” – CRITICAL THINKING STUDY QUESTIONS

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

EACH ANSWER MUST INCLUDE TEXTUAL CITATIONS AND PAGE NUMBERS.

1. Examine Sammy’s language. Write down several words or passages, the page number and what you have inferred from the words regarding Sammy’s general attitude toward life. (*Note: To infer is to draw a conclusion or make a deduction based on facts or indications.)
2. All of the main characters (Stokesie, Lengel, the three girls, and Sammy) make choices. List each character’s choice and the consequence of his/her choice.
3. Negative reviews of “A & P” center on what some reviewers perceive as Sammy’s misogynist views. Do you think Sammy is offensively sexist? Why or why not? How does his attitude about women affect the outcome of the story? (*Note: A sexist believes that one sex is inferior to the other in a variety of attributes. A misogynist hates women as a sexually defined group.)
4. A symbol is something that suggests or stands for an idea, quality, or concept larger than itself. What symbols do you see functioning in “A & P”? How do they contribute to your understanding of theme?
5. Why does Sammy quit his job? Do you think he has more than one reason?
6. At the end of the story Sammy understands “how hard the world was going to be to [him] hereafter.” Do you agree with his assessment? Why or why not?

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