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Emily
8/28/2012 05:27:52 pm

Answer to question 3: Updike violating the rules of standard English to make a conversational tone makes it seem like you could talk to the speaker and relate to him, which makes you more interested in listening to him. It also makes you think the story won't be as tedious as it might have been if he sounded like a college professor telling you a boring story, which it wasn't. It was a good story.

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Hannah H.
8/29/2012 12:34:01 pm

Emily, I would agree with you! I was definitely more interested in the story because it was relatable. I felt like he could have been standing right next to me, telling me the story as a friend. Being completely honest, I would say I was relieved to find that the story was light in the fact that it was not labeled "proper" English, and I was able to read it without having to strain to find the meaning. It was comfortable, and I enjoyed it!

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Celeste
8/29/2012 01:29:35 pm

Emily, I agree with what you said and I also think that it gives Sammy a voice from the very beginning. Since Sammy is a teenager and not a college professor, he probably wouldn't talk with proper grammar all the time so it makes sense to me that Updike did this.

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Ariana
8/29/2012 01:58:49 pm

Emily, you had really good ideas but I would suggest explaining a little bit more about why the tone makes it relatable. Maybe you could add a example. Overall it was really good.

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Trevor
8/29/2012 02:04:52 pm

I really like your college professor simile. Also, I think that the line "in walks these three girls" has a "here comes trouble" connotation to it that really gets the teenage reader curious.

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8/29/2012 04:16:20 am

Answer to Question 4: I think Sammy quit his job for a multitude of reasons. One reason may be that he was bored at his job. He was putting so much detail into the story which could have meant that he was bored and was trying to amuse himself. Another reason why he may have quit is to try to be the three girls that walked into the A&P's hero. We know this because the narrator said, "I say 'I quit' to Lengal enough for them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero." Them being the three girls. This is why Sammy may have quit his job.

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8/29/2012 12:22:23 pm

I can definitely understand your reasoning on those two points. I'd just like to add that another reason Sammy may have quit was to go against the grain of society. He casts the "normal" society in a very unappealing light: "There wasn't anybody but some young married screaming with her children about some candy they didn't get..." and "...customers that had been heading for my slot begin to knock against each other, like scared pigs in a chute." Sammy could also have quit as an act of rebellion against these social standards.

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Mackenzie
8/29/2012 12:44:44 pm

I agree with this response to the reason that Sammy quit his job. I definitely believe that Sammy had started to get bored with his job and, being a teenager just wanting to have fun, decided it was time to quit. The girls coming into the store and getting scolded just gave him the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Kendall
8/29/2012 02:23:11 pm

I think these are all excellent ideas as to why Sammy may have quit. Another reason i think could be that he has really disliked his job for a while and was waiting for a "good" reason to quit, which it actually wasn't a good reason, but he saw it as an opportunity to finally be free of his job. Just a thought :)

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Brady
8/29/2012 07:52:26 am

Sammy’s voice is very relatable to teenagers, which is why we were so in to the story and were able to grasp his meaning better. He uses everyday language that we understand and analogies and metaphors that are easy to grasp. He also makes this story enjoyable to read by bringing a sense of humor into it. The pictures he creates using detail are so easy to envision that it almost seems that you are in the story. He makes this story easy and enjoyable to read, which will pull almost any reader into the story.

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Carley
8/29/2012 01:53:05 pm

I like your thinking Brady. I definitely agree with you where you talk about how the pictures he creates with detail put you in the story.. Do you think that maybe there are any more ways that his voice so relatable to kids our age?

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Megan
8/29/2012 02:44:33 pm

I agree with you, the fact that you felt like you were there, thinking what he was, made me want to keep reading.

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Jacob Jones
8/29/2012 06:42:05 pm

I agree that the story was easy to read and understand. By the amount of detail, that he used to explain things made it easy to visualize what was happening and it made you feel like you were there.

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8/29/2012 12:02:51 pm

Answer to Question 1: The exposition of the story is important for several reasons. For example, it establishes the voice, which is vital to any story. The voice is particularly important in this story, since it is by the voice that we make inferences about the character and it is the voice that draws us into the story. In addition to this, the exposition establishes that Sammy is a teenager, and a very observant one at that, which helps us infer that he has a lot of time on his hands. This information can help us understand what happens later in the story, when he quits his job on impulse. The exposition also gives us enough detail to begin to understand the social background that Sammy has. For instance, Sammy describes one of the girls in bathing suits as "the kind of girl other girls think is very 'striking' and 'attractive' but never quite makes it, as they very well know, which is why they like her so much..." This shows that he is familiar with the social realm of teenagers. We can easily connect with this, as well as with many of the details that Sammy gives in the exposition.

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Lacayah
8/29/2012 12:23:27 pm

Sammy quit is job. Why? Why would a young man end his only source of self-earned income with little to no reason to? Simple. He’s immature. Because of his adolescence, he made a rash decision much to quickly. He acted on his initial emotional reaction instead of thinking the choice through in a logical manner. When his boss asked him if he was quitting, he justified it by acting like a noble hero and saying “You didn’t have to embarrass them.” Soon he realized that he really didn’t want to quit, but when he says “once you begin a gesture it’s fatal not to go through with it” shows that his pride got in the way. Finally he says that “[his] stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.” That statement, further, the reality, is what will change Sammy from the provoked teen to a logical adult. Which, I believe, is the author’s whole purpose for Sammy’s resignation.

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Mika
8/29/2012 03:39:04 pm

I completely agree with you, Lacayah. He acted before thinking, then thought about what he did in his last sentence. But I think that maybe Sammy (in his last statement) was also just thinking about what kind of guy he was, what his personality was rather than how he was going to change.

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Hannah H.
8/29/2012 12:23:58 pm

Answer to 5: The "conversational tone" in Sammy's voice grips the reader in a few unique ways. His voice was relaxed and was very relatable, allowing the story to feel like an interesting conversation between two friends. Sammy uses an observational voice to describe unique details not always mentioned by other protagonists. He is honest, and tells it how he sees it, expressing his voice with a little humor and making the reader want more.

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Brady
8/29/2012 05:30:41 pm

I agree with this in the way that he is speaking through the mind of a teenage guy. It makes me think about what I would be thinking in that same situation.

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Mackenzie
8/29/2012 12:41:27 pm

In the short story 'A & P', Sammy has a strong voice that pulls people in and keeps them curious abut what is going on around the store. The way he thinks about events is very relatable to teenagers which also helps keep readers interested throughout the short story. Sammy sees all the details in different people and items which helps to create a vivid picture in any readers mind. When he uses the animal metaphors it was easy to imagine the behavior of the different characters and it also added a little bit of humor. Sammy's voice helped pull readers in by being detailed, relatable and humorous.

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Celeste
8/29/2012 01:22:54 pm

Answer to question 4. . I think that Sammy had several reasons to quit his job. I noticed in the text while he was taking off his uniform it says “…and drop the bow tie on top of it. The bow tie is theirs, if you’ve ever wondered.” The fact that he made a point of saying it wasn’t his, made me think that one of the reasons could be that he was a little embarrassed by the job. Another reason I think was that he was just tired of and bored with his job. I think this because in the text Sammy thinks, “She’s one of those cash register watchers” which to me implied that he has worked there a while. I think that at the end of the story when Lengel confronted the girls Sammy thought it was rude and it sent him over. Sammy’s decision may have been rash but I think that it would have happened sooner or later.

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Mary
8/29/2012 01:28:25 pm

Response to Question 3: Updike's violation of the rules of standard written English sets the voice of the narrator and interests the reader immediately. Just from reading the first line, the reader can probably tell that the narrator is young, most likely a teenager, and this makes it easier for certain audiences to relate to the narrator. You can also guess that the story is probably going to revolve around the narrator's perception and interaction with the girls. The first line hooks the reader, causing them to be more interested in the story. The conversational tone makes it easier for you to become more invested in the narrator. This line did help entice me into the story.

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Ariana
8/29/2012 01:32:49 pm

Answer to question 5: Sammy's voice pulls readers into the story by making it easy to read and comprehend. By using everyday language and a relaxed tone you can clearly understand the story. He goes into great detail which paints a picture so vivid in your head that it seems as if you are in the store experiencing the story. Using various details and easy language he pulls and keeps the readers into the story.

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Carley
8/29/2012 01:39:15 pm

Sammy's voice pulls readers into "A&P" in many ways. For one, his informal tone and relaxed word choice makes it very easy for readers to listen to. He also is very humorous and his silly in the way he describes things and people around him, giving his voice and personality a very relate-able feeling. Many other factors like the setting, the girls and the chain of events that lead up to Sammy quitting also help add to his voice and boyish persona.

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Trevor
8/29/2012 01:58:44 pm

Sammy's voice draws readers into "A & P" by providing a laid back tone and just enough humor that people, especially teenagers, are comfortable with. After reading the first two paragraphs, every teenage boy knows exactly how Sammy is feeling, even if they don't want to admit it. This provides humor, and maybe just enough shame, to draw the reader deeper into the story, adding more to the laid back tone. The way the author provides similes and such specific details about the girls; you would think he was describing these girls to his best friend. He described them so frankly, like it was not even a little bit creepy for him to be checking these girls out, set me back on my heels a little bit. I was not at all ready to be drawn into the story by hearing a well known author publicly talk about girls the way he did.

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Mary
8/30/2012 06:32:48 am

You're right Trevor, his tone and humor does draw readers into the story. And I agree with you that the way he described the girls was creepy, even if by then you would probably keep reading the story anyway.

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Jacob Jones
8/29/2012 02:00:35 pm

3) Updike abandons conventional English to establish a conversational tone because if the story is not written in a formal tone, then the reader will not read the story in a formal tone. In most conversations, your English will not be in a formal tone, it will be in a casual tone. So why would a writer write with perfect English when they want the story to feel relaxed. In addition, the misuse of grammar works well to make the story feel like a story and not some research paper. By the author’s misuse of grammar I feel like it would keep your attention better than if he had used perfect English.

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Kendall
8/29/2012 02:01:49 pm

Answer to Question 5: Being able to connect and relate to the tiny details of the story, "A&P," is what pulls the readers in. The conversational tone that Sammy uses throughout his thoughts in the story makes it easy to understand. The unique details that Sammy provides gives the readers the opportunity to be part of the story and have those same feelings. For example, when the manager tells the girls to cover up Sammy is embarassed for them and the reader can relate. All of these are reason why the reader is drawn into the story.

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Megan W.
8/29/2012 02:41:17 pm

Prompt 4.
"The girls, and who'd blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say, "I quit," to Lengel enough from them to hear, hoping they'll stop and watch me, their unexpected hero." At first glance, it appears as though Sammy, the main character, quits with little aggravation or reason, but upon further reading this is not the case. After reading the whole story, it is clear that there was some underlying frustration behind his resignation. The way he describes his boss, the manager of the store, shows his distaste for him, on page 785, "...(he) is about to scuttle into the door marked Manager behind which he hides...Lengel's pretty dreary..." The words, "scuttle, hides" and "dreary" are not very flattering terms and give the image of a somewhat cranky person. Secondly, Sammy compares the customers to animals, such as bees, sheep, and pigs and though the patterns of human action can correlate to animal patterns, I believe it goes deeper. The several remarks about animals could describe that he feels like an animal, caged in behind the counter by which he stands, until the end of the story. Another fact from the story that shows the build up of provocation and, thus, hatred toward his job is the contrasted description of his boss, Lengel, once he quits. After Sammy quits he describes the manager by saying, "Lengel sighs and begins to look very patient..." this implies almost the exact opposite of how he saw him earlier in the story; I believe that serves as a sign that after Sammy resigned he didn't feel like such a caged animal anymore, he felt free. In closing, Sammy did not quit his job with little provocation, him hating his job, and possibly his boss, was reason enough to act as he did.

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Mika McCrary
8/29/2012 03:29:23 pm

Updike’s improper English for his character Sammy make it interesting and help draw the readers into “A & P”.
I think that readers like a character with a unique voice that can tell the readers about themselves. Sammy is just that. His fragments and run-ons make the story more personal and easier to relate to. I personally love the overwhelming detail of the story, mostly because it was short enough for it, which helps draw the reader in and gives the idea that Sammy was lost in his thoughts.

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