English 1302 - Composition & Rhetoric
Prose Assignment #1

Reading Assignment
  • Literature: an Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Ch. 1, "Reading a Story", pp. 5-24
  • "The Appointment in Samarra" (Text on the Web)
  • "Godfather Death" (Text on the Web)
  • "A & P" (Text on the Web)

  • Writing Assignment
    Please visit the discussion page, select "Prose Assignment #1" discussion, and enter your response to the following question: "In the short story "A & P", what traits (admirable or otherwise) does Sammy display?" You will receive credit toward your participation grade for contributing to the discussions forum.
    Once you have posted your answers to the questions above, please also copy your response in the text-block under "Submission" at the bottom of this page and click "Submit."

    Critical Resources for "A & P" (CBC student login may be required)
    Blodgett, Harriet. "Updike's 'A&P'"
    Porter, M. Gilbert. "John Updike's 'A&P': The Establishment and an Emersonian Cashier"
    Thompson, Corey Evan. "Updike's 'A&P'"
    Wells, Walter. "John Updike's 'A&P': a return visit to Araby"

    Internet Resources:
    Information About Constructing Plot
    History of Fables and Aesop/Some of Aesop's Fables

    "The Appointment in Samarra" and "Godfather Death"
  • both present the character of Death
  • both share a moral: "Death cannot be defied"
  • Short Story Elements in "A & P":

  • setting--"I'm in the third checkout slot..."
  • exposition--first half of story
  • dramatic conflict--Lengel's confrontation with the girls
  • crisis--Sammy mulls a decision (paragraph 1)
  • climax--Sammy quits
  • conclusion--Sammy faces uncertain future
  • "A & P" and "Godfather Death" are similar--both defy authority (Lengel and Death) for the love/admiration of young women

    Terms For Review
      Fiction Fable Moral Parable
    Tale Tall Tale Fairy Tale Plot
    Dramatic Situation Complication Protagonist Hero
    Suspense Antagonist Foreshadowing Crisis
    Climax Conclusion Flashback Summary
    Short Story Scene Epiphany