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Sammy relentlessly ogles and lusts after the beautiful young women who come to A & P in their bikinis, but he is resentful of older women who have lost their beauty. He wonders if the girls are capable of deep thoughts, or if, instead of a mind, they have "a little buzz like a bee in a glass jar?" The opposite sex is inscrutable to Sammy, perhaps because he finds them unattainable. Sammy's mother is a powerful but mostly absent figure; her presence is felt but we never learn anything about her. Sammy's distant admiration of the women drives all of his actions; he hopes they will be watching when he behaves admirably but he never knows for sure. Sammy is not ready pay for the consequences for his actions. His motivations for standing up to his boss are couched in sexual frustration rather than a concern over prejudice. Life will be hard for Sammy until he can balance his own teenage angst with the harsh realities of the world.