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A&P (story)

"A&P" is an ironic short story written by John Updike in 1961. M. Gilbert Porter called the titular A & P in Updike's story "the common denominator of middle-class suburbia, an appropriate symbol for [the] mass ethic of a consumer-conditioned society." According to Porter, when the main character chooses to rebel against the A & P he also rebels against this consumer-conditioned society, and in so doing he "has chosen to live honestly and meaningfully." William Peden, on the other hand, called the story "deftly narrated nonsense...which contains nothing more significant than a checking clerk's interest in three girls in bathing suits."

"A & P", first introduced in The New Yorker on July 22, 1961, also later appeared in the collection Pigeon Feathers.

Usage examples of "a&p".

alvin, I knew, had died about a year before I had started on this journey.

a cyclon e can and does grip straws and thrust them unbroken through an inch board--but what force was there which could take the delicate petals of a flower and set the m like inlay within the surface of a stone?

Under level bla ck brows shone eye s of clear hazel, k i ndly, shr e wd, a little wistful, lightly humorous.

On his head was a cap of si lver set with pale e m eralds--the snow fields and glaciers that crowned him.

North and south, the horizon was a chaotic sky land of pinnacles, spired and m inareted, steepled and turreted and domed, each diademed with its green and argent of eternal ice and snow.

and then from every s now and glacier-crowned peak, from minaret and pinnacle and towering turret, le aped for t h a confusion of soft peacock fla m es, a host of irised pris m atic gleamings, an ordered chaos of rainbows.

a deeper blackness had grown there while we had been talking, a pool of darkness against which the mountain summits stood out, blade-sharp edges faintly luminous.

Willow and witch alder, stunted birch and poplar had found roothold, clothed it, until only their crowding outposts, thrusting forward in a wavering se m icircle, held back seemingly by the blue hordes, showed where it m elted into the meadows.

Nor is there cause to set forth at length the steps by which I h a d a rr i ved at this vale of peac e .

as he stood scanning my camp there arose beside him a laden pony, and at its head a Tibetan peasant.

Then swiftly, a mist swept over all the heavens, veiled that incredible cataract.

Flocks of rose finches raced chattering overhead to quarrel with the tiny willow warblers, the chi-u-teb-tok, holding fief of the drooping, graceful bowers bending down to the little laughing stream that for the past hour had chuckled and gurgled like a friendly water baby beside us.

I had too clearly the feeling of a CONS CIOUS forc e, a something that KN EW exactly what it was doing--and had a REaSON for it.

I paused at the base of the triangles where, were this thing indeed a footprint, the spreading claws sprang from the flat of it.

at its upper edges were clipped bushes and split trees, the white wood of the latter showing where they had been sliced as though by the stroke of a scimitar.