Paper on "Oranges" by Gary Soto

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Our experiences and the choices we make when we are young help shape who we are as we get older. In "Oranges" by Gary Soto, the narrator recalls a memory from his childhood - the first time he goes on a date with a girl. The boy is young and probably a little scared at first, but things turn out well and the date with the girl seems to have an impact on him later in life. We don't know anything about the narrator when he is older but he seems like a likable person. He tries to make the girl happy in the poem and he seem like someone who doesn't only think of himself.

The first line of the poem tells us the narrator was twelve years old when he first "walked" with a girl. It's December, the ground is frozen, and the boy waits outside in the cold for the girl. He has two oranges in his coat pockets. When she comes out the boy smiles and leads her down the street until they reach a drugstore. While inside he asks her what she wants from the candy aisle. The girl picks out something for ten cents and since he only has a nickel he pays with his nickel and one of the oranges. The sales lady's eyes meet his and she, realizing the situation, allows the boy to pay with the orange. The boy then takes the girls hand and they walk together. After they walk for two blocks they stop and she unwraps her candy and he peels his orange. In the last few lines the narrator says the orange was so bright against the grayness of December that "from some distance, Someone might have thought I was making a fire in my hands."

The vocabulary of the poem is very straightforward and simple. The author tells us little about what the boy and the girl talk about or how the boy feels about his first date with the girl. Instead, he uses language and descriptions that give us hints to how the narrator feels at the time. The word "December" best sums up the first few lines of the poem. It's cold, there is frost on the ground, and the poem later the says it was "grey". I think the boy feels a...
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