Sammy, in A&P by John Updike, plays a cashier at A&P grocery store. Sammy lives in a small country town in New England. He must be a college or high school student because he still lives with his parents. Sammy is quite intelligent and creative in the way he describes three girls that are dressed in bathing suits. Sammy is at work when they catch his eye. He is mesmerized by them and creatively names all of them by the way they walk and their movements in the store.
Sammy’s character seems to observe people judgmentally but he would never speak aloud to them about it to the people he was sizing-up in his mind. Sammy could have been not such a popular guy in high school. He sounds, by the way he talks, that he was a cocky loser with no friends when he was growing up in that small country town. Even though Sammy criticizes the way the girls walk and their supposed character in his mind he would like to meet them.
The way Sammy talks about the girls bathing suits and their bodies says that he might even pictured one of them naked. Sammy doesn’t know how to act around girls because he gets them into his checkout line and says nothing to the girls. The way he acts around the girls hints that he may not have had a girlfriend in a long time because he waits for them to talk to him. Sammy also has a very heroic character at the end of the short story, when he wants to stick-up for the girls before they leave the store.
His boss Lengal, gets on to the girls for wearing their bathing suits into the store and Sammy gets angry and tries to get Lengal to apologize to them. Sammy’s heroic character gets the better of his when he tries one last time to get the girls to notice him by saying “I Quit” to his boss, but the girls leave anyway. Sammy is a quiet opinionated guy that jumps into his actions before thinking them through in his head.