In “A Summer Life,” Soto brilliantly strings words and images together to form an almost ingenious personal narrative from the perspective of a six-year-old. Not only does he selectively choose words that depict the naive imagination of a six-year-old, but he also uncovers the protagonist's guilt and fear of getting caught through the most impressive symbolism.
Soto's personal narrative brings together the creativity and paranoia that is evident in the lives of most children. He uses literary devices such as repetition and imagery to describe the guilt he faced as a child and to reveal his religious standings and overwhelming fear of blasphemy. This is portrayed by the repeating theme of angels and their movements. At first when the narrator introduces the story, he describes himself as pious “in every bone," this is then fortified by his recollection of angels flopping in his backyard. But as the story unfolds, and the regretful deed has been completed, the image of the angel reappears. Unlike last time, this shadow of an angel is one "fleeing bad deeds." This simple imagery helps emphasize the notion that the narrator is fully aware and is somewhat frightened by his actions along with the consequences that follow. As the excerpt progresses, more examples of his ecclesiastical nature emerge. When the protagonist first attempts to eat the piquant pie, he notices a "squirrel nailed itself high on the trunk." This quote could be interpreted to resemble Jesus being crucified and once again delineates Soto's quest for deistic impunity. Soto repeats this theme to compare his actions to his mostly pure lifestyle and his fear of apostacy.. Another vital ingredient to the narration was the tone of the writer. Because of the credulous tone that the narrator adopts, readers can easily conceive and almost relive the experience that is elucidated by the author. Soto meticulously selected phrases like "I wiped my sticky fingers on the grass" and "clawing a chunk from the...
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