Themes of John Updike
The Power of Desire: In A&P, when the girls walk into the shop in bikinis, (which for that time period was considered inappropriate) the entire men population of the store turned and stared at them. This shows that the power of desire can change a persons mind or even change how they would normally act and that is what John Updike is trying to portray in this theme.
The Mystery of Other Minds: In A&P, Sammy is awed by the audacity of the girls and how they act once again according to their time period. He is stunned by the way that other people can think and how the girls are portraying that they have mystery in their minds. This confuses Sammy as he has never seen someone who has gone against the tide of normality. This confusion is thrusted into the story to get Sammy to ask questions about how other people can think differently and have different backgrounds which both lead to acting differently than others.