Sammys Coming of Age

In many stories that we read, the protagonist is often faced with a coming of age moment, which changes them for the better and sometimes for the worse. The Short story A &P written by John Updike, tells the story of a nineteen year old boy named Sammy. He faces three coming of age moments which shape him throughout the story. Sammy faces a realistic view on life when he realizes that his heroic gesture does not sway the girls in to liking him. He starts of ignorant towards the fact that if he quits his job at A&P, he could easily be replaced. Sammy’s ignorance soon turns in to knowledge when he is standing outside A&P and sees Lengal in his place at the cash register. Sammy does not start to think about how his actions will soon start to affect the people around him until he is sitting outside of his workplace, the job that he just resigned from. He then feels a wave of regret when he notices that ‘his girls’ are nowhere to be seen.
To begin, Sammy is naïve enough to think that if he quits his job, the girls would take notice and think of him as a hero for standing up for them. “’I quit’ I say to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they [will] stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero” (Updike 4). When Sammy finally walks out of A&P, and does not see the girls anywhere, he realises what he has done and that his plan does not work. “I looked around for my girls, but they [were] gone, of course… My stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” (Updike5). Sammy is going to have to live with the consequences of his actions because he does not think them through beforehand. He has an idealistic view of how he wants the situation to turn out, which is having the girls believe that he is their hero.
Prior to, Sammy finding a realistic view on life, his transitions from ignorance to knowledge arises when Lengel asks Sammy if he is sure about quitting his job. Lengel implies that Sammy’s decision is not good...