Oranges and Fair Trade

Topics: Empathy, Emotions, Money Pages: 2 (720 words) Published: April 6, 2012
In both poems “Oranges” and “Fair Trade” by Gary Soto, the author explores the recurring theme of compassion and pride. Both poems have several ways to show the theme. The poem “Oranges” is about young love and knowing how it once felt. At the beginning of the poem, I get the sense that the boy is a little apprehensive in meeting his girl as he states, “Cold and weighted down / with two oranges in my jacket.” Certainly two oranges aren’t going to weigh anyone down, therefore the image described must be the nervousness along with the anticipation of seeing meeting her. “As I walked toward / her house, the one whose / porch light burned yellow / night and day, in any weather,” tells me about his burning passion for her. “She came out pulling / at her gloves, face bright / with rouge,” tells me that she is also excited to see him and that she is either blushing or has applied some makeup in the manner a young inexperienced woman would. As she comes out of her house, some of that nervousness exits him because he smiles and even has the courage to touch her shoulder. The line about the “used car lot” and “newly planted trees” is imagery about his reality and what kind of life he lives. As they enter into the drugstore and look at the candies, the boy is probably feeling for the first time a sense of maturity as he asks her what she wanted; because he’s able to buy her something. “The lady’s eyes met mine, / and held them, knowing / very well what it was all / about.” The imagery here provides some tension for the reader: “Will the boy ask the girl to change her selection? Will the saleslady demand cash or no sale?” Although his courage is impressive, the risk was also a safe and intelligent bet: If the saleslady had refused to honor his orange for payment, he would still have the two oranges to share with the girl on their way home. The oranges give the narrator “weight” and importance, and then they became a medium of exchange used to buy the candy. “I took my girl’s...
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