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“A &P” dreams Essay

The play “Fences” by August Wilson and the short story “A&P” by John Updike focus on the lives of the parents and their sons. The dream which a son aims to fulfill in his life is far different from the dream his father had held throughout his life. In the play “Fences”, the dream of Cory Maxson differs from the dream of his father in numerous aspects. Similar, Sammy the son in the short story “A &P” dreams of a future which is different from the life led by his parents.

Although Sammy and Cory Maxson resemble each other in their preferences for lives which are different from that of their parents, they differ from each other as far as their behavior, attitude and outlook towards life is concerned. Behavior Cory Maxson from the play “Fences” and Sammy from the story “A&P” display different kinds of behavior, even though they aim for a life which differs from the lives of their parents. Cory Maxson is a good student who strives to fulfill his dream of becoming a footballer. He works hard to achieve his aim.

Instead of surrendering before the system, he aims to overcome it. “Cory transcends his anger and frustration to master the system. ” (Pereira 47). Cory follows his father’s advice, “take the crooked with the straights. ” (Wilson 42). His father tells Cory that “the white man ain’t gonna let you get nowhere with that noway. ” (Wilson 35). But still Cory persists with his aim and pursues his dream with determination. On the other hand, Sammy’s behavior displays his lack of courage to pursue the life of his dreams.

Although he dislikes his job at the supermarket, he is unable to quit the job, owing to his parents who will regard his decision to quit as “the sad part of the story. ” (Updike 192). He seeks an opportunity to quit his job. “Sammy must, therefore, remain an employee until he can find a reason to justify his quitting. ” (Thompson). Sammy is so distracted by the sight of girls that he losses concentration on his work. “I stood there with my hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. ” (Updike 195).

Cory is firm and determined while pursuing the life of his dreams whereas Sammy searches for an opportunity where he can quit his job and lead a life which is different from his parents. Attitude The attitude of Cory and Sammy while looking towards their parents also differ, for they perceive their parents in different manners. Cory’s conflict with Troy begins when Troy prevents him from pursuing his career as a footballer. “When his son Cory is offered a college football scholarship, Troy forbids him to take it. ” (Brown 164). But Cory refuses to agree his father’s point of view.

He ignores his father’s warning, “You swung and you missed. That’s strike one. Don’t you strike out! ” (Wilson 56). Although he follows the advice of his father, he strives to fulfill his aim with fortitude. Sammy, on the contrary, avoids conflicting situations with his parents. Even though he hates his job, he refrains from leaving it, for he never wanted to hurt his parents by his actions. But when he sees that his boss insults the girls who arrived in the shop in their bathing suits, he quits his job in spite of his boss telling him that “Sammy, you don’t want to do this to your Mom and Dad.

” (Updike 196). He also acknowledges that he dislikes leading his life in a way led by his parents. His views differed from those of his parents, “at:least my family says it’s sad but I don’t think it’s sad myself. ” (Updike 195). Cory looks as his father as individual who surrendered before the system whereas Sammy thinks that his parents failed to take any effort to change their lives. Outlook towards Life Cory Maxson and Sammy view their lives from different perspectives, Cory aims for a life of his choice but Sammy just quits his job without any fixed plans for the future.

Cory Maxson is a young adult who is aware of his dreams and the way to achieve them. He is very clear about his future and the life he will be leading in the future. In spite of living in the shadow of his father, he wants to form his own identity. “I want to be me. ” (Wilson 95). But in the end, he realizes that his father’s identity is an integral part of his identity. “At the play’s end Cory Maxson, now a corporal in the marines on a path he has chosen, learns that he continues that legacy.

” (Bogumil 41). Cory Maxson succeeds in leading a life according to his desire. Sammy, on the other hand, quits his job without making any plans for his future. “I said, I quit”. (Updike 196). He is also aware that after quitting his job, he is going to face numerous problems. “I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter. ” (Updike 196). Sammy lacks maturity, “Sammy is not an overly thoughtful boy, not really aware of the cause of his dissatisfaction. ” (Obstfeld 168).

Cory Maxson comes across as an individual whose outlook towards life aids in the achievement of his dream whereas Sammy lacks the maturity to view life from the right perspective. Conclusion Both Cory Maxson and Sammy wanted to lead their lives in a manner which differed from the lives of their parents. But Cory Maxson and Sammy displayed some traits which were in contrast to each other. Their behavior, attitude and outlook towards life differed from each other in various aspects. Cory Maxson succeeds in achieving his dream whereas Sammy quits his job without planning about his future.

Works Cited

Bogumil, Mary. Understanding August Wilson. Univ of South Carolina Press. 1999. Brown, John R. What is theatre? : an introduction and exploration. Focal Press. 1997. Obstfeld, Raymond. Novelist’s essential guide to crafting scenes. Writer’s Digest Books. 2000. Pereira, Kim. August Wilson and the African-American Odyssey. University of Illinois Press. 1995. Thompson, Corey E. Updike’s ‘A & P. ‘ Explicator 59: 4 (2001): 215-16. Updike, John. “A & P. ” Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories. Knopf. 1973. Wilson, August. Fences. French. 1998.

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