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Poem Analysis: Oranges By Gary Soto

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I chose the poem Oranges by Gary Soto because it seemed simple but at the same time seemed profound. When I first read this poem it was easy to follow but I realized there was a deeper meaning behind the simplicity and I was intrigued. To find this poem, I searched on the internet for poems that were recommended for students in grade 11. I was looking for a poem that was somewhat long so I could write quite a bit about it. I was also looking for a poem that did not contain any allusions or ornate language. While I was reading through my choices, I briefly analyzed them, after this process I chose the one that I understood the most. The word ‘oranges” caught my eye, because it is rare to see a poem with such a simple name, but I felt that…show more content…
The speaker of the poem is a grown man reminiscing because he is describing things from a different perspective than a twelve year old would. When the speaker asks the girl what she wants at the drugstore, the speaker describes the girl as having “...Light in her eyes, a smile starting at the corners of her mouth.” The speaker now reminisces all the details of the girl’s face. This event had a big impact on him, resulting in him remembering such small details. He now has a mature and observant perspective. The original twelve year old would have just been delighted to see that he has made a girl happy and would not care about the details, as he overjoyed with the girl’s happiness. The speaker is definitely a grown man reminiscing his time as a twelve year old because he states “...I was…show more content…
A major tone that is present throughout most of the poem is a reminiscent tone. The speaker begins the poem by stating “The first time I walked with a girl, I was twelve…” It is easy to notice that the speaker is indulging in past events. The speaker also tells his story in past tense. The speaker describes the little details that bring him joy while reminiscing. He states that the girl’s face was “...bright with rouge.” and there was “...Light in her eyes, a smile starting at the corners of her mouth.” The speaker is reminiscing and mentions the details so he can indulge in past events wholly. There is shift in tone present when it becomes a conflicted tone. This occurs when the girl choses a chocolate that costs a dime, but the boy only carries a dime and two oranges. When the speaker realizes the fact that he will not be able to play for the chocolate he states that he “...didn’t say anything.” He took the nickel and an orange and “...and set them quietly on the counter.” He then looks up at the sales lady “...knowing very well what it was about.” The speaker is so uncomfortable at this point he does not even talk. He is conflicted because if he can not buy his girl the chocolate, he will not be able to make her happy, and making her happy is his ultimate
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