Gary's Soto's the Pie

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Guilt is being responsible for some act that you have done which is bad or considered lower than your own moral standards. Gary Soto revives his childhood sin of stealing a pie from the local market by using literary devices such as imagery, diction, and religious contrasting. He parallels his holy upbringing with his heinous sin and uses imagery to bring his guilt to life. Soto's use of diction and imagery assists him to arouse the reader's sense of guilt, which is an emotion most people possess. Soto identifies the character’s awareness of guilt with unsteadiness where the “sun wavered between branches of yellowish sycamore”. The sun, which is normally a constant throughout the day, has become unreliable because of the sun’s failure to give him unfaltering light. The naïve grocer whom Soto steals from has a “window of light” on his forehead that depicts his innocence. The presence of light depicts goodness where as in absence of light, there is a darkness or evil which Soto brings about with his distinct diction. Soto portrays his face as “sticky with guilt” as being stuck in a sticky situation after stealing a pie and feeling remorse. His mention of the pie being a golden color represents one of the seven deadly sins, gluttony. Soto symbolizes God’s forgiveness to return from sin to virtuousness, overlooking the past to a fresh start as he crawls “back into the light, rising from one knee, then another to dust off his pants and [squints] in the harsh light.”

Religion is a key element in his piece as Soto connects his spiritual upbringing with his actions. He evokes a spirit of holiness as he emulates Eve’s sin to his own immoral act. Yet as he quickly dwells on that idea, he forgets and gobbles down huge chunks of pie. He describes the boy as “holy in almost every bone “, yet he still steals the pie even though he knows “enough about hell” to refrain him from doing so. As he was trying to forget “the flowery dust priests give off”, he...
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