The narrator of the story is Sammy, a nineteen years old boy, who works for A&P as a checker. He is a minor character who is a witness to most ofthe actions. He describes the three girls who enter the shop in bathing suits – barefoot. Next, Sammy observes the reactions of the other customers to this trio of young women.He describes them as sheep for they follow one another and gather. The girls, in contrast, appear to be unique as you can conclude from his description of the way they walk.Furthermore, he calls the leader of the trio “the queen”.
The climax of the story is towards the end when the narrator himself takes action for the first time. As Lengel reprimandsthe girls for their indecent appearance, Sammy decides to hand in his notice. In his opinion, Lengel’s behaviour makes the girls feel unnecessarily embarrassed. Consequently,Sammy makes the decision of his resignment.
But why does he resign? Just because of some girls who were made felt uncomfortable? This can’t be the reason, can it?
During hisnarration task, Sammy goes through a maturing process. At first, the most important thing about them is what they wear. But then, he notices the reactions of the other customers andsees how similar they act. And when Lengel asks them to leave immediately because of their “inappropriate” clothes, Sammy is convinced. This, his job, isn’t what he should bedoing. Here, at A&P, where they don’t permit uniqueness, isn’t where a boy of nineteen should work all day. He realises that there are more important things out there to explore.The story ends with Sammy not knowing what the future will bring. But that doesn’t matter because that’s exactly what youth’s about: Enjoying the mixture of freedom and excitement.