A&P is a short story, by the author John Updike. The story received wide acclamations since of its publication in the year of 1961 and even after decades it is highly liked by the readers and is considered to be probably the best creation by John Updike.
The story revolves around a young boy Sammy, who works as a clerk in a grocery store. It was hot day of summers when three young girls came to the store; three of them were dressed as if they were preparing to go on beach. They were in small dresses also barefoot and wanted to purchase some snacks. Though Sammy allowed to enter the girls to shop but the shop owner strongly opposed their dressings and said that this a grocery shop, not the beach. He scolded them for their behavior and said that they should wear complete dress next time. If they are not well dressed, they will not be allowed in his shop next time.
Sammy was somehow attracted to one of those girls and seeing the behavior of the shop owner he became angry and suggested the old man, the shop owner to maintain respect towards the customers of shop. He resigns then and there irrespective of suggestions of the store manager to not to quit because it may cause problems to him and his family in future. Sammy gets out hoping to get some friendliness and admirations from the girls but found that they are disappeared. Here the story becomes very heartbreaking, as said by the store manager he starts suffering and realizes that his decision to quit the job was unfortunate .
The author has done an excellent job in describing the emotions and frame of mind of an adolescent boy in a very natural manner. The story has all the qualities that attracts a reader and makes it a good piece of work.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? is a short story written by Joyce Carol Oates. The story was published in the year of 1966 and according to the author of this story; it was a contemporary murder series that stimulated the author to write this story.
The main character of the story around which the story revolves is a teenager girl, Connie. Connie is a teenager girl self obsessed, confused and thinks herself over smart. A typical teenager who thinks that she can flirt any one and nobody can deceive her because she is over smart. She makes joke of her mother and elder sister as and when because according to her they are old fashioned, dull, not smart and modern like her.
Connie likes to enjoy good flashy lifestyle, does not like any kinds of interference from her family members. Connie dates boys in restaurants; one evening when she was in the restaurant, a stranger saw her and started keeping an eye on the girl. One day when she was alone at her house the stranger man came outside her house and invited her to go with him. When she tried to refuse he threatened her with dire consequences and story was finished here without showing any thing further.
The author has described the way of thinking of a teenager and her outlook in the best possible way. She has also tried to give a massage to the society in respect of the behavior of teenage girls and that how important is it to look after them. Since the author has got the inspiration from a chain of murders in the decade of seventies, her apprehension and state of mind reflects the same in a very clear way in the story.
Now this paper will throw lights on both the stories and compare them, taking note of all the related things.
Characters in both the stories are teenagers. They both are full of energy; their way of thinking is like the common adolescents of their age. Both are careless and romantic teenagers. They have their own definition and interpretation of things. Some features of their personality are as follows:-
A. Confidence- both the characters of are full of confidence. They think that whatever they are doing is the only right thing and that others should not try to advice or suggest them. Both the characters think that they take their own decisions in a very confident way.
B. Decision making – both the characters of both the stories take decisions without considering the pros and cons of their decisions in their life. Both have taken certain decisions that have caused them to stand in a very puzzled situation in their life.
C. Careless attitude – both the characters are careless in nature, none of them bothers what others are saying for them. Both are not habituated to tolerate anything whether it is in their interest. They do not care what others say about them and just do what they like to do without considering the good and bad aspects of their activities.
D. Immaturity – both the characters are immature not only because of their age but the way they behave and react. They react in the spur of the moment most of the time.
E. Consequences and sufferings – at the end of the day both the characters suffer for what they have done intentionally or unintentionally and find themselves in an out of their depth situation where both repent for their bad decisions taken at one point of time.
Analysis of A & b
This decades back written story is a widely acclaimed piece of literary work and perhaps writer could deliver this fabulous creation because he himself was twenty years old when he wrote this on papers. The attitude, lack of care and state of mind are very commonly found in a behavior of teenagers and this all have been beautifully portrayed by the writer in an impressive and natural way. The characterization and series of events, both are strong enough to keep the cadence alive in a reader while reading the story. The compass is always opened for a reader to interpret the actions and events of the story, according to his or her own state of mind and situation.
Analysis of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been
The story is a brilliant piece of literary work and was written decades back by the author Joyce Carol Oates. The author has accepted that while before writing this novel she has got the inspiration from a series of brutal murders of several girls in the decade of seventies. Somehow this state of mind is reflected in the work of the author, she is anxious, she is a bit of afraid. She is concerned about the girls who are ill-disciplined and of careless attitude. She perhaps try to alerts all the girls against any conspiracy against them and also seems to suggest them to take care of them and not to behave in a bad manner.
The ultimate finding of both the stories as suggested by both the authors is that in adolescence the teenagers should not avoid the advices of their parents, family members and other elders. They should be careful and not negligent in any sense in their life. The adolescence is a transition phase of a person and sometimes wrong decisions of this age affects a person for the rest of his or life. This is the time when teenagers need care and they should listen to elders and well wishers.
The stories have many things in common; both the stories are from the same period of time. In both the stories a teenager’s way of thinking and set of mind has been portrayed. A massage in respect of their behavior and future also has been given by both the stories. Both stories revolve around the various aspects of life of teenagers and readers should not miss the stories and in case of teenagers, they should not only read the stories but also should make efforts to implement the massage of the stories in their own life.
“John Updike.” mockingbird.creighton. 22 October 2011
Joyce Carol Oates. Where are you going, where have you been. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1994.
Loveboat, H. P. “John Updike’s A & P88.” hploveboat.hubpages. 22 October 2011
“Notearama.” 19 October 2010. notearama.blogspot. 22 October 2011
Oates, Joyce Carol. “Usf.” usfca. 22 October 2011
Updike, John. “A&P.” tiger-town. 22 October 2011