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In the 1950s and early 1960s in the United States people did marry much younger than they do today.
Right from the first moment he sees the girls, he cannot take his eyes off them.
He is so startled and discombobulated at the sight of them that he cannot remember whether he has rung up a customer’s purchase or not.
(In 2010, the figure was 58.6 percent.)Another notable detail in the story is Stokesie’s apparent desire to stay with the A&P company and build his career there. Point of view in a work of fictionrefers to the character or characters through whose eyes the story is told.
In those days, it was more common for people to stay with one employer throughout their working lives than it is today. society, in this view, was quiet and stable in that period, following the turbulence of the 1930s and 1940s. The narrative technique Updike employs in “A&P” is called first person narration, which can be recognized by the use of the first person pronoun, “I.” In other words, the story is told through the point of view of nineteen-year-old Sammy.
According to government statistics (available from in 1960, 37.7 percent of women age 16 and older were in the workforce.
This figure rose rapidly to 43.3 percent in 1970, 51.5 percent in 1980, and 57.5 percentin 1990.
Such an incident, if it should occur, would likely turn heads now as it did then, and also inflame the passions of young men.
However, some small details in the story give some clues that it was in fact written in a different era from the present. He is only twenty-two years old yet is already a married man with two children, which likely means that he married very young indeed, perhaps around the age of twenty.
I mean, it was more than pretty.” In other words, he is aroused by the sight, and, more than this, it is likely that he is not content simply to admire from afar.
When she reaches the cash register, he notes that there is no ring on her finger, and one can just imagine him calculating his chances with her and trying to figure out a way in.