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SAT® Subject Test in Literature

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Symbolism of Ironed Shirt

SATLIT-EX8VF9

Follow the link to read the story A&P. Read the end of the second to last paragraph; find it (CTRL + F) searching for the term: “ironed”.

The narrator leaves the A&P “in [his] white shirt that [his] mother ironed the night before.”

What does the detail about his mother ironing his shirt contribute to the character development of the narrator, particularly in light of his actions at the end of the story?

A

He is tied to his mother’s apron strings, indicating that he won’t survive long on his own.

B

He is not accustomed to independence, indicating that the world he is about to enter will be a new one.

C

He looks the part of a hero, as he has acted.

D

Though his family may not have money, like Queenie's, he has learned from his mother to respect himself.

E

The white shirt is not meant to be read into; it is after all, only a shirt.