After reading the poem “Oranges” by Gary Soto, the first opinion that came to my mind is cute. Often times our most vivid memories come from first-time experiences. Many writers like to draw from their memory banks to create themes for their works; themes that a reader can often relate to, stimulating them. This poem draws from a favorite memory, telling a simple story of a boy’s first date with a girl.
The descriptive words in this poem provide the reader with a sense that the events being described are of great importance to the young man narrating the poem.Oranges” is narrated from the boys point of view using extreme detail to create strong images of the walk they took. Soto uses such spectacular descriptive words that one can paint an almost perfect picture of the setting that this walk takes place in.
I can obviously determine that it is winter because the narrator informs us of the month. “December. Frost cracking/Beneath my steps, my breath/Before me, then gone” engrains the picture in my mind that there is snow on the ground because he can hear it with every step and it is cold because he can see his breath when he exhales.As the two walk the author uses very descriptive words to give detail to the landscape, “Her down the street, across/A used car lot and a line/Of newly planted trees,/Until we were breathing/Before a drugstore. We”. Instead of just saying we walked past a car lot and trees, the author gives us a more descriptive picture and uses “used” car lot and “newly” planted trees as images against the cold December walk. Not only does Soto use descriptive words to create an image, he also creates sensory images, words that create sound in our minds as we read.
A dog barked at me until/She came out pulling” gives me the sound of the dog barking while the boy is walking up to her porch. “Outside,/A few cars hissing past,” reminds me of the sound that cars make while passing me on the sidewalk.The sound of the rubber tires “hissing” as they roll along the pavement. Feeling is also described very well in this poem. The reader can concur that the boy is feeling a little nervous because the narrator explains he is, “Cold, and weighted down/With two oranges in my jacket.
The reader can also tell how the girl is feeling in this situation because her face is bright with “rouge” giving the reader the impression that she is blushing because she is very excited to see him. Also, at the beginning of the story the narrator refers to the girl as “a girl”, but by the end when he feels the date was successful he states, “I took my girl’s hand”, confident enough to call her his own. Many poems use a lot of symbolism but in this poem “Oranges” by Gary Soto, imagery is the main technique used.Soto used these images to give the reader a detailed picture of the setting. The use of sensory images also allowed the reader to picture the setting and the sounds that filled it. These images described the characters and allowed the reader to know what they were feeling by how they looked. All of these together allowed the reader to know exactly what the narrator felt, heard, and saw on a very memorable first experience with a girl he really liked.