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Word Count: 538
Sammys Sacrifice John Updikes often-anthologized story AP shows us the heroic choice of a young adult who decides to follow principle rather than his own self-interest The nineteen year old narrator works at the local AP Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in a middle class neighborhood and he is led to quit his job as a pretest against a perceived insult to a young woman he admires This dramatic gesture is largely a result of what economists would call signaling In walks these three girls in nothing but bathing suits 881 The narrator is glad for the diversion mentally names the most beautiful girl Queenie and watches every move the trio make The detail with which Queenie is described shows how carefully the narrator is looking for signals of her status He tells us that her hands are empty not a ring or a bracelet and that she purchases Kingfish Fancy Herring Snacks in Pure Sour Cream 883 The purchase reveals something about Queenieat least to the narrators way of thinking Her choice shows that she comes from a different social and economic class One can conclude that Queenies sophisticated way of life contrasts with the narrators own life When the store manager Lengel enters and scolds the girls about their attire Girls this isnt the beach 883 Lengel continues to explain that the policy requires them to have their shoulders covered Queenie is embarrassed and we can predict that the narrator will take offense He rings up the purchase described so that we see how people are viewed in economic terms Its more complicated than you think and after you do it often enough it begins to make a little song 884 The narrator sees Queenie blush and gallantly says I quit to Lengel quick enough for them to hear hoping theyll stop and watch me their unsuspected hero 884 His gesture goes unnoticed by the girls but he follows through nonetheless because
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