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A&P and LUst


             In both stories, "A&P" by John Updike, and "Lust" by Susan Minot, the main characters are experiencing conflicted but transitional periods in their lives. Sammy, the main character in "A&P" has a happy, analytical and self-assured personality that will eventually help him quit his job. In contrast, the narrator in "Lust", also the main character, has a clashing personality of insecure, depressed, and illogical traits. Both characters are suggested as adolescents who are growing up in our mundane world. For both characters changes in their lives will derive by choices they make and decide to follow. For our first character, Sammy, who is a happy teenager, and currently working at the check out slot of a supermarket, is completely enlightened with the sight of three girls walking into the store wearing very little clothing. Sammy can't contain himself, his focus has shifted from ringing up a frustrated old woman to a young boys number one reason of losing focus. He was so enthralled by the girls walking in that he couldn't remember what he had rung up for the old pester. "I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not" (Updike 606). It is not an uncommon experience for guys to lose concentration on a task when the sight of flesh illuminating off the opposite sex's exposed skin distracts their testosterone driven minds. On contrast with Sammy's content personality, the narrator from "Lust" differs in a sense that is almost an extreme opposite. It is understood that happiness at boarding schools can be quite difficult to acquire, usually drastic measures are taken to deter problems and blank them out from student's repressed freedom. In the case of the narrator, she doesn't turn to odorless, smokeless, nor undetectable substances (hard-core) drugs; rather she finds what she may think of an attempt to find a happy median. Sex. Can it be a release? Sure.


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