Stereotypically, decision-making is anessential practice for the young people around the globe. Many times youngpeople make decisions using the wrong criteria.
John Updike, the author ofA&P short story brings out clearly the nature of the intolerant behavior ofyoung people through an educative literary piece. Updike’s story captures themind and has numerous teachings concerning decision-making especially to theyoung people. Decisions shape the life of people who make and implement themovertime.
Wrong decisions are bound to misdirect someone whereas the rightpotential decisions channel someone’s life into the right ways. Updike’sshort story “A&P” concentrates on the choices that the young people makeincluding the criteria that they use in making their decisions through fourmajor characters, Sammy, and the three young women. Updike views choices as products ofcircumstances following how Sammy’s decisions leads him to failure as hefocuses on the girls so much than other important things in life.Elaborately, Sammy’s decision to resign was influenced by the situation thatcame into place at his workplace. When the three girls walked in in their bathsuits, Sammy seemed to have no choice other than to resign under unclearcircumstances irrespective of the manager’s warning that his parents willregret. Updike views Sammy as someone who does not calculate his moveseffectively. That is, he does not make decisions wisely by predicting thepossible repercussions that may arise.
For instance, he imagines “You know thekind of girl other girls think is very “striking” and “attractive” (Par. 2).The concentration is much on the ladies and how they look rather than therecharacter or what they are able to do in life. In my life experience, I oncemade an ineffective decision to gamble driven by the urge to get more moneyonly to lose everything. Updike reveals how young people are not focusses inmaking their decisions.
The author views young people as carelessin their decision-making and choices in life, which turnout to dictate how theylive their lives in the society and relate to other people.According to Updike, people are easily lured into making decisions depending onthe present occurrences. More often, few people give weight to advices fromtheir relations such as friends or workmates amongst others.
The mere entranceand physique of the three ladies got Sammy thinking and making irrelevantdecisions at the time. Sammy imagines the characters of one of then ladies in acritical manner, “She kept her eyes moving across the racks, and stopped, andturned so slow it made my stomach rub the inside of my apron…” (Par. 5). To thereaders, Sammy reveals his inobservance to professionalism. Readers get towonder how Updike is insinuating about the young people and how they makechoices in life.
Personally, somethings have ever driven me to make choicesthat are more wrong than right. At one time, I had a character of looking atpeople and judging them from their appearance only to realize that this is awrong way of scrutinizing people’s personality. Notably, physical appearance isquite different from people’s personality as Updike illustrates in his writing. From Updike’s perspective, young adultslack stamina in making significant choices that guide their lives and directthem in the right way instead of otherwise as in the case of Sammy’s life thatwas misled by his own decisions and lack of self-control.Making the right decisions and being able to follow them requires determinationand focus that many young people, according to the Updike’s “A&P” shortstory, lacks especially in the modern world.
Sammy, one of the cashiers, makesirrational decision to quit his job in order to impress the girls and respondto the manager’s act of warning the girls against his will. Lengel told thegirls, “We want you decently dressed when you come in here” (Par. 15).Considerately, Lengel is reasonable in his directions but the three youngadults and Sammy do not agree with him, which proves how young people fail totake appropriate advices from either the authority of their seniors.
Sammy wasnot so sure on what to do but ended up doing the wrong things as he did notsucceed in finding the girls and also left his job on unreasonable basis.Moreover, the three girls are not certain on how they should dress depending ontheir destination. Life has much to learn especially for those who are willingand flexible. As a young person, I realize that I have to make some informeddecisions and stick to them alongside weighing other people’s advices. In mylife, I often take time before making decisions.
Before implementing any choicein life, I realize that I have to consider its circumstances. In the Updike’sshort story, I prefer the Lengel’s advice to Sammy as he meant good for him. Whenin dilemma, I would always take time to make the rightful decisions that wouldrather build me than break me down. Updike is putting it clear to the readerson the influence of wrong choices in life.
Through Lengel, the manager, Updike attemptsto explore the role of parents and guardians regarding the young adults’choices and the difference between the choices that reliable adults make andthose that young adults make. Lengel’s mindset is quite different from that ofSammy since they think in different ways and from different perspectives. WhileSammy thinks that Lengel did not treat the girls fairly, Lengel is not worriedof his responses to the girls. Lengel seems to be right than Sammy.Contemporary young persons are fond of neglecting the right directions due tothe overrating of themselves that they know more than others.
Sammy says, “Youdid not have to embarrass them” and the manager says, “It was they who wereembarrassing us.” The diversion in thoughts is clear. More often, I havediffered with people in thoughts and finally agreed when I realize that I gotit wrong. Life has plethora of people who have different thoughts. Assumedly,young people have more time to live hence they have the obligation to makepotential choices in life. In conclusion, Updike’s short story”A&P” concentrates on the choices that the young people make including thecriteria that they use in making their decisions through four major characters,Sammy, and the three young women. Life has much for the young people thatmaking wrong decisions may cost them heavily.
Updike gives worthwhile lessonsto young people through “A&P” short story. As the story begins, the authorseems to be concentrating on the physique of the girls until late in the storythat he reveals the main motive of the story through specific characters asexamined in this paper.