An earlier version of this story was three or four pages longer and ended with Sammy at the beach looking for the girls but not finding them. Do you like the story the way it is now, or do you think it would have been better with Updike’s original ending? Why?
I don’t think the earlier version should be published, and that the story should end where it ended with Sammy not being able to find the girls. What this does to the story is create a greater tension and mystery in the end, because Sammy ended up losing his job by standing up for the girls that eventually disappeared. Not only does this make the reader question Sammy’s actions, even though they may be considered heroic, but it has a sad ending rather than a happy one, which leaves the main character to remain questioning his actions: Was losing his job worth it to stand up for the girls and to fight against authority that was doing wrong? If the ending was longer and Sammy ended up meeting the girls at the beach or something, then the story may have taken a turn that strays away from the main purpose of meeting the girls in the grocery store. I think it would lessen the tension inside the grocery store. Sammy states at the end of the story, “my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” (Updike). With a longer ending, this feeling would not resonate with the readers.