Analysis of Marxism Ideology in A&P by John Updike

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About this sample


Words: 529 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Words: 529|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

In the short story, “A&P” written by John Updike displayed several events that take place in the story that would not have happened if the town lived under a Marxist society. Marxism is a socio-economic ideal where all people work for the good of the community and is characterized by not having any social class distinctions. The division of Classes in 'A&P' is very apparent, especially between Sammy, the proletariat, and the three girls, one of the three who are characterized as the bourgeoisie.

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Sammy is displayed to the readers as the bag boy and from this he doesn’t achieve enlightenment from standing up to the three girls that results Sammy putting up a fight between him and his manager Lengel. In A&P, Sammy classifies the three girls shopping as upper class. He classifies them as upper class because of the way “Queenie” walks around the grocery store. She is dressed in a bikini, has two friends/followers with her and does not respect the manager when he asks the girls to leave. Queenie dressed in a bikini represents how she does not have to follow the rule of “no shoes, no shirt, no service” policy. “She was the queen. She kind of led them, the other two peeking around and making their shoulders round, she didn’t look around not this queen”. This portrays the fact that she’s the bourgeoisie and acts as if she owns the grocery store and everyone needs to get out of her way. Her friends that follow her around shows that she is one of the more popular girls. When people think of the popular girls or people in a story or movie, it is usually because they are wealthy, are pretty and have lots of friends. Queenie completely ignores Lengel, the store manager, by staying and shopping while he asks the girls to leave because they are not dressed appropriately.

Sammy displays his lower-class social placement by the way he interacts with Lengel. Sammy is the proletariat that allows his boss to control what actions he pursues. “Sammy have you rung up this purchase”. This shows a sense of labor of how Sammy is controlled by his manager and tells him what to do. When Lengel asks the girls to leave Sammy sticks up for the girls and puts up a fight between him, the girls and his boss. From this he tries to gain enlightenment from the three girls that notice him standing up but unfortunately nothing occurs. “The girls, who’d blame them, are in a hurry to get out, so I say “I quit” to Lengel quick enough for him to hear, hoping they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero. They keep right on going…”. This displays the message of the fact that Sammy, the proletariat, never achieves enlightenment and remains alienated.

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In conclusion, itєs obvious to see how living in Marxist society can cause conflict in this situation. Lengel, who is the boss, should have higher say in what goes. The girls feel like there isn’t anything wrong because they are the customers, and Sammy does not see why it is a problem for the girls to be in there shopping.

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Analysis Of Marxism Ideology In A&P By John Updike. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from
“Analysis Of Marxism Ideology In A&P By John Updike.” GradesFixer, 10 Dec. 2020,
Analysis Of Marxism Ideology In A&P By John Updike. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Feb. 2024].
Analysis Of Marxism Ideology In A&P By John Updike [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Dec 10 [cited 2024 Feb 22]. Available from:
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