Discuss John Updike’s short story “A&P” and M. Gilbert Porter’s critical essay “John Updike’s ‘A&P’: The Establishment and an Emersonian Cashier.”
Porter seems to be endorsing Emerson’s appreciation of a boy’s judgment, his “genuine verdict.” Are Porter and Emerson right to find the boy’s judgment somehow truer than, and thus superior to, his elders’ judgments? What evidence in “A&P” is there that Sammy is to be admired for his clear-sightedness? While beauty may be found in “supple youth,” even the “varicose veins” of women who have had many children can be considered beautiful. Can’t they?