Gary Soto's Guilt

Topics: Anxiety, Guilt, Remorse Pages: 2 (647 words) Published: September 14, 2010
The Never-Ending Guilt of Stealing

Many times in life, people do things that they regret doing later on, and it often comes back to haunt them. This can often cause fear and paranoia in one's life. In Gary Soto's autobiographical narrative, he steals a pie from a German market, and then feels guilty about the whole incident. Gary Soto recreates the experience of his guilty six year-old self with the use of religious imagery and language, the description of his paranoia that everyone knows, and the use of the fact that he attempts to escape his guilt, but is haunted and unable to escape it.

Soto uses religious imagery to relive the time when he stole the pie. Gary Soto “[knows] enough about hell to stop [him] from stealing”. It was always boredom that made him sin, not his actual mentality. He was “holy in almost every bone” except for his hands, because he has stolen things before. He also puts in his cleanest finger into the pie when he eats it. When Gary throws the Frisbee across the street, he uses the analogy that it was like “an angel fleeing bad deeds”. It symbolizes that he is trying to throw away his guilt. Gary's use of religious imagery explains that he is a strong follower of Christianity, even though he commits sins. Religious imagery gives us the sense that he is more worried about going to hell than going to prison, and it intensifies his paranoia.

Gary Soto also describes the paranoia that everyone knows that he stole the pie. “A car [honks] and the driver [knows]” Gary explains. He stole the pie, and Gary knows that the driver saw him, which only makes him feel guiltier. Another bystander, “Mrs. Hancock [stands] on her lawn, hands on hip, and she [knows]”. He thinks she knows that he stole the pie, because when she puts her hands on her hips, it makes him feel like he is being scolded. Even his mom “peeling a mountain of potatoes at the Red-Spud factory, knew” and the fact that it is his mom knowing his guilt only causes him to feel...
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