Gary Soto recreates the experience of a six-year old stealing for the first time. He uses several literary devices to successfully portray the mind of a guilty six-year old.
The diction in the essay is simplistic as it is written from a child's point of view. The imagery in the essay was very descriptive, mostly about the pie and his guilty conscience, along with not sharing with Cross-Eyed Johnny. He failed to mention the weather or details of his surroundings, such as the store, houses, trees, and sidewalks. He failed to mention these concepts as they are something an older person would remember, not a six-year old boy.
The pacing in the essay was relatively slow while he picked out his pie and climbed in a tree to eat it, but when a neighbor came home and there was a risk of being caught as he ran to prevent being caught. At this point in the story he was scared as he " ¦raced on skinny legs to my block ¦. He felt guilty and knew the consequences of being caught therefore he ran and in turn the pace of the story changed. The pace is slow because it's a summer day, he has nothing to do except eat his pie. At this point in his life he has all the time in the world to do whatever he pleases and therefore there isn't a reason to rush eating the pie or telling the story. At points when he feels life is rushed the story picks up.
The repetition comes into play as he describes the " ¦shadows of angels flopping on the backyard grass... in the first paragraph. He pictures holy things in his mind at the beginning and end of the essay. Instead of seeing angels at the end he hears his deceased Father and Uncle. The Bible story of Adam and Eve is also mentioned adding to the holy aspect of the essay. He mentions Sister Marie teaching and the " ¦flowery dust priests give off ¦. The constant referral to holy devices is used a defense mecha