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Word Count: 350
John Updikes AP tells the story of Sammy a nineteen-year-old grocery store clerk in New England whose life is about to change He watches three young girls come into his store wearing only bathing suits The store manager admonishes them and in their defense Sammy quits his job The story reveals that there comes a time in a persons life when their path in life must be chosen Sammys conflict is whether to conform to the status quo or be different and go his own way Sammy is in a dead-end job which he hates at the local grocery store He describes his customers as a witch about fifty with rouge on her cheekbones and no eyebrows1031 sheep1032 and scared pigs in a chute1034 just to keep him amused He finds the girls in their suits fascinating refreshing something completely out of the ordinary and it appeals to him He is tickled by reactions of the houseslaves in pin curlers 1032 at what they had just seen The girl Sammy refers to as Queenie appeals to him Her sense of individuality apparent in her attire a flesh tone swimsuit with the straps off the shoulders bare feet and an air of confidence strikes a chord with Sammy She symbolizes what he wants to be an individual to be free to be something better than he is When Mr Lengel confronts the girls Sammy takes it as an attack on his own freedom more than an affront to the girls He sees Lengel as the oppressor his future his destiny When Sammy quits he symbolically sheds his bonds by removing his personalized apron and bow tie and leaving them on the counter thus freeing him to leave He knows the girls will not wait it doesnt matter for they are the catalyst he needs to cast off the old life He cannot go back as that would be fatal 1034
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