Oranges Essay

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After reading the poem “Oranges” by Gary Soto, the first opinion that came to my mind is cute. Often times our most vivid memories come from first-time experiences. Many writers like to draw from their memory banks to create themes for their works; themes that a reader can often relate to, stimulating them. This poem draws from a favorite memory, telling a simple story of a boy’s first date with a girl. The descriptive words in this poem provide the reader with a sense that the events being described are of great importance to the young man narrating the poem. “Oranges” is narrated from the boys point of view using extreme detail to create strong images of the walk they took.

Soto uses such spectacular descriptive words that one can paint an almost perfect picture of the setting that this walk takes place in. I can obviously determine that it is winter because the narrator informs us of the month. “December. Frost cracking/Beneath my steps, my breath/Before me, then gone” engrains the picture in my mind that there is snow on the ground because he can hear it with every step and it is cold because he can see his breath when he exhales. As the two walk the author uses very descriptive words to give detail to the landscape, “Her down the street, across/A used car lot and a line/Of newly planted trees,/Until we were breathing/Before a drugstore. We”. Instead of just saying we walked past a car lot and trees, the author gives us a more descriptive picture and uses “used” car lot and “newly” planted trees as images against the cold December walk.

Not only does Soto use descriptive words to create an image, he also creates sensory images, words that create sound in our minds as we read. “A dog barked at me until/She came out pulling” gives me the sound of the dog barking while the boy is walking up to her porch. “Outside,/A few cars hissing past,” reminds me of the sound that cars make while passing me on the sidewalk. The sound of the rubber tires “hissing” as they...
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