“Orange” by Gary Soto and my analysis~

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost crackling
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone
As I walked forward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted -
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickel in my pocket,
And when she lifted chocolate
The cost a dime,
I didn’t say anything.
I took the nickel from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set the quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
the lady’s eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all
Outside, A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl’s hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone may have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.



How do poetic devices used help develop the theme of the piece? Explain your answer and support it with evidence from the selection.

The imagery of “Orange” developed its theme of “love is sacrifice” by letting the reader see how the main character sacrificed his orange to pay for a chocolate bar for the girl he likes. While the kids were in a store, the boy had “a nickel in [his] pocket” But when the girl “lifted a chocolate that cost a dime” the boy gave up one of his two oranges, and the nickel, to the cashier to pay. By the boy sacrificing his fruit for his girl, you see the theme come alive. His love for the girl outweighs the sacrifice for his fruit. Without being able to visualize these actions, the theme would be invisible. The imagery of this piece brings the theme into light.


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