The average person with common knowledge can tell that John Updike’s “A&P” is strikingly similar to James Joyce “Araby”. However, the both have a few noticeable differences. Both stories tell a very common story on what most boys go through in their adolescent years. The stories tell a story of young love. The stories are similar but different, down to plot and even the narrators.
The narrators of this story share some similar traits. Readers follow the young narrators as they go to great lengths to try to impress a girl they have a crush on. The narrators are at that point in their lives where they start imagining and fantasizing about women. This can clearly been seen in “Araby” as his whole journey solely revolves around his quest to try and fulfill his fantasies. However, both characters fail to live out their romantic fantasies with the girl they idolize and their “self-delusion… leads quickly to an emotional fall”.() “Araby”
The stories are in a way similar as well… We’re talking Joey-for-Dawson (in the early days, at least), Ross-for-Rachel, Jim-for-Pam
The narrators are different….. Although more similar, the narrators have their differences. In Updike’s “A&P” and Joyce’s “Araby”, their narrators are both young however there is a big age gap difference. In “Araby”, the narrator is unnamed and is presumably young since he relies on his uncle to take him places. The narrator in “A&P” is Sammy, a 19-years-old cashier at a local market. It is understandable for the narrator of “Araby” to be ignorant of his understanding of romance for his young age. For Sammy’s age he should know better on the difference of reality and fantasy when it comes to romance for his older age…… The narrators have different views on women. Sammy is looking on the outside while the boy is looking on the inside. In “A&P” Sammy views his community as sheep, or followers. He sees the three ladies as rebels of their community as they walk into the store wearing bathing suits. Sammy becomes intrigued not only by their rebellious act but by their beauty. Sammy soon follows in their footsteps when he quits his job for Lengel doing his job and citing store policy to the three ladies. The boy notices every little detail about Mangan’s sister (enter quote). The boy notice beauty will Sammy notices the body. It is ironic that the young boy is more mature than Sammy.
Stories are different…. “A&P” three girls walk into a grocery store wearing nothing but bathing suits. Sammy, the narrator, observes them closely and admires their looks even to the minute details. He takes interest to Queenie, the leader, for her beauty and grace. As the girls start to check out, they choose Sammy’s line. The manager of the store, Lengel, makes his way over to Sammy’s line and start to criticize the three ladies on their attire, rumbling about store policy. No shoes, no shirt, no service kind of thing. As the ladies start to leave, Sammy turns and tells his manager off saying that he should have not embarrassed them and quits his job. His boss tries to convince him that quitting was not a good idea but Sammy walks out anyway. As Sammy walks out side he hopes to find the girls waiting to thank him for his act and even to befriend Queenie but that never happens. Sammy is standing in front of the store all by himself as the three ladies are long gone. Now he looks back at the store knowing the world is going to be hard on him. Sammy makes his transition from childhood to adulthood from the one incident that cost him his job. He realizes that to be responsible is to act like an adult. “Araby” the narrator talks about an old priest that used to live in his house before him. The narrator spends a lot of time going through the priest’s old work, but as the story goes on the reader learns about the girl he admires, Mangan’s sister. The narrator has never made any conversation with but one day he does and she ask him if he is going to the bazaar. Mangan’s sister really wants to go but can’t so the narrator makes a promise to bring her a gift. The narrator reminds his uncle to take him to the bazaar when the day comes. The day comes, it is almost nine o’clock and his uncle comes home late and drunk it is nine o’clock. His uncle wants to eat but the narrators aunt steps in and ….. They get to the bazaar late as everyone starts to close up. Panicing, the narrator finds an open store. A young lady ask if he would like to buy anything, the narrator responds “no, thank you”() . You would think if the narrator liked this girl so much he would buy something. The narrator walks away realizing that he really doesn’t love her. The narrator went through his first heartbreak and all of his efforts were all for nothing.