Oranges/Gary Soto critical analysis
First Time Experiences Create Lasting Memories
Often times our most vivid memories are of a first time experience. First day of school, first kiss, first dance, first job, or first car, are often detailed memories that will be etched in our minds forever. Many writers draw upon their own memories or first time experiences as a theme when creating poems, dramas, short stories and even essays. Themes that a reader can relate to or that spark a memory of a similar experience are often enjoyed and are stimulating to the reader. A person looking at the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto, (474) to analyze and critique it would use a formalist approach. The poem "Oranges uses imagery and strong concrete words to create meaning in his poem. Soto uses many other literary techniques as well, in order to convey the experience of a young boy's first date to the reader, such as using acute attention to detail and the use of fragmented and run-on sentences, or short sentences for emphasis. Gary Soto seems to have taken an experience from his memory and written his poem "Oranges about a boy's first walk with his girlfriend. This poem is written in first person and is narrated by a boy who is a reliable source.
The title "Oranges gives an instant burst to the poem with a visual image of vivid color and even a sense of smell. An orange can symbolize many things, but in this poem it symbolizes color and a child's joy. The first sentence is broken into small lines so that the reader pauses at the end of each line. "The first time I walked/With a girl, I was twelve,/Cold, and weighted down/With two oranges in my jacket. (lines 1-4) Each end has a concrete word to give signifigance to the phrase, such as walked, twelve, and jacket. Soto again uses the vision of the oranges, as bulges in the boys' pocket. Soto uses "December. (line 5) as a one-word sentence to give it emphasis. It is important to note that the