John Updikes A & PJohn Updike’s "A & P"
Do you remember the grocery store chain A&P? The letters stand for "Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company," and the store used to be one of the most popular in the United States.
The third person narrator of a story (or poem, play, or novel) is not the same person as the author. The narrator of this story is named Sammy, which is a kid’s or teenager’s name; what we call Sammy’s "voice," or his own particular way of thinking, comes through very clearly because he is the narrator. His "voice" reveals him to be a dissatisfied young adult male. Sammy is our first example of a narrator who is also a character. Sammy is what we call a 1st person narrator:
1st person: I am Plural: we
2nd person: you are Plural: you are
3rd person: he, she, it is Plural: they are
A first-person narrator can present certain problems; e.g., he or she may have something to hide, and so may not be telling us the entire truth, or he or she may not know the entire truth. Do you see any problems in this area regarding Sammy? Judging by his tone of voice—the way he sounds—what kind of person do you think Sammy is? Is he a smart-ass? Is he just a bored kid?
Sammy is bored. His entire world consists of the grocery store, which is artificially heated and cooled, and has everything one could ever need in the way of food and many other products. However, Sammy . . . read more.
July 05, 2010 05:53 PM