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Soto's Oranges. Expression of young love through the simplicity and fire of oranges - Essay Example

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This paper is the reading responses to a poem. This paper identifies four elements that I find interesting in the poem, which are form, language, imagery, and theme. Soto's “Oranges” expresses some of the sweetest “firsts” in a person's life- the first date and the first love…
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Sotos Oranges. Expression of young love through the simplicity and fire of oranges
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Download file to see previous pages The language of “Oranges” highlights the contrasts between several factors, the warm feelings of the boy and coldness of his surroundings, and the hesitation of a boy struggling to prove his worthiness for the girl of his dreams. The first contrast is the warm feelings of boy for the girl, which contrasts with the “cold” December and its “frost cracking”. The cracking frost further depicts the frailty of the boy's quest. This is his first date and he can either make the girl “his” or not. The language accurately shows the warmth of young love versus the coldness of the surroundings. The boy is apparently not fully disappointed by the cold weather that can ruin their date, because he remains feeling warm inside. The second contrast is between the boy's hesitation and his eventual victory. Initially, the boy seems unsure of what to do, especially as he walks feeling “cold” and “weighted down”. The weather may be too “cold” for his date, who might balk out. However, he loses his uncertainty, when he wins the greatest challenge in this date, the provision of the expensive chocolate to his girl that is beyond his means.
Another interesting element of the poem is its form. Soto deviates from the rhyming pattern of conventional poetry. He writes in a narrative style, like a short story, using a form that captures that precious and unforgettable “slice of life”....
.” (p.1). Wilson (2002) calls this technique “enjambment,” where thoughts are continued from one idea to the next, with bare pauses (p.2). This form underlines the excitement of the boy, especially since the poem is written in the first person of the adolescent. For instance, these lines remark on the quick transition of places: “A used car lot and a line/Of newly planted trees,/Until we were breathing/Before a drugstore. We/” (Soto, 18-21). They are in a used car lot and some trees one moment, and then they arrive at the drugstore the next. The “breathing” remarks on the underlying nervousness and energy from this walk. Thus, this kind of form effectively depicts the rush and apprehensions of a young person in love. Soto's use of images, instead of rhymes, to “unify” his poem also breathes new life into the theme of young love (Wilson, 2002, p.1). Young love is quite hard to express, especially its uncertainty and awkwardness. But the use of the frost versus the warmth definitively illustrates what it is like to love and show that love, without knowing what will happen. What can a twelve-year-old expect from a date, when he only has two oranges and nickel in his pocket? He is risking a great deal for this date- his ego and the chance of having “his” girl. The “frost” of December entails how a failed date can crack his heart, but he goes on anyway with a mixed sense of excitement, nervousness, and hope. In addition, the oranges feel, in the beginning, as something that “weighs” him down (Soto, 3). After all, maybe the girl will not even appreciate his thoughtfulness of bring some snacks for their date. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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