The Pie By Gary Soto essay example

583 words
Throughout the autobiographical narrative written by Gary Soto, many different literary elements are used to recreate the experience of his guilty six-year old self. Different elements such as contrast, repetition, pacing, diction, and imagery. Soto narrates this story as a young boy at a time when he seems to be young and foolish, Soto fool making mistakes, but at the same time hoping to learn from them. Soto uses each of these devices to convey different occurrences in the narrative. Contrast is used when Soto compares himself to Eve, a biblical character, when God punished her for stealing an apple from a sacred garden.

Also in the first line of the story Soto explains he "knew enough about hell to stop me from stealing", but later in the story he states that, "the best things in life come stolen". It is obvious these two statements contrast each other. Soto also uses repetition in this story and starts off with the driver, Mrs. Hancock, and his mom who all "knew" that he had stolen the pie. The thing is "knew" is repeated too many times in too little writing.

Also though I think using "knew" so many times brings out the element of diction into the narrative because by using the word so many times, it is obviously used to show how paranoid Soto was. The word pie is at least 14 times while "I" is also used at least 42 where in the third paragraph it is used to begin the last three sentences. Next, was the element of pacing and in the third paragraph like mentioned before it was repetitive but also many simple sentences were used. Soto uses these sentences when he is in the midst of stealing the pie. They are obviously used to show that Soto is nervous and moving around quickly because there is a lot of action going on at the time. However, in the some of the last paragraphs there are many more complex sentences, which are used to show that Soto has returned to his state of boredom and also to express that there is not much going on inside Soto's head...

As mentioned before diction was used along with other elements to help bring out the heart of the matter in Soto's story. When Soto says he held the pie like a "discus" it makes one think that maybe he was ready to throw it like a Frisbee because at the time he was so nervous. Also, when Soto first steals the pie, he notices that the grocer's forehead "shone with a window of light". It seems because Soto is so nervous, he begins to notice every little detail of what is going on in front of him. Another example occurs when Soto is eating the pie and he declares that his teeth were "bathed with the jam-like filling". This makes him look as if he is relishing every moment of eating the pie.

Finally, imagery is used throughout the story such as the "proximity of God howling beneath the house" which seems to convey a dark image of God. Another example of imagery occurs when Soto burps to "perfume the air". It gives one a sense that Soto is burping not just let out gas but to give him a sense of relief and is very easy to watch this.