A Summer Life by Gary Soto

A Summer Life by Gary Soto

Length: 620 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Back in 1990, a man named Gary Soto decided to write an autobiography about himself, titled A Summer Life. One of the more interesting portions of the book was when Mr. Soto described a summer day back when he was six years old. On that day, young Gary found out what it felt like to be a true sinner, as he stole an apple pie from the local bakery. Some readers found this as one of the more interesting parts, not because of the plot, but because of the literary devices used, such as detail, imagery, and pacing. The three aforementioned literary devices are almost a backbone to the story, because without those three, the story would be shortened and fairly bland. The following three paragraphs will each describe a literary devices used by Mr. Soto to enhance the quality of his story.
During this portion of his autobiography, Mr. Soto wanted to carry the feelings and events of an important day in his life across to the reader. One of the ways that Mr. Soto accomplished that feat is through his usage of extremely vivid detail. One of the more vivid sentences in this story was “I laid more pieces on my tongue, wet finger-dripping pieces, until I was finished and felt like crying because it was about the best thing I had ever tasted.” That string of thirty words carries over a great load of detail to the reader. Phrases like “finger-dripping” and “felt like crying” gives the reader an idea of just how good the pie tasted. It lets the reader know that it must have been sweet and moist, rich and golden. One could also argue that the sentence used as an example or detail is also a prime example of imagery.
The next literary device to be discussed is imagery. As previously stated, many sentences could serve as excellent example of imagery, however the sentence that most portrays an idea is on line 40; “The slop was sweet and gold-colored in the afternoon sun.” The line tells you how messy the pie was (slop), and then to tell you exactly what the pie mess looked like, it tells what color it was, and if the environment affected its color (gold-colored…afternoon sun). The idea behind Mr. Soto’s usage of imagery may seem simple, but it makes sure that the point is carried across to the reader.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Summer Life by Gary Soto." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Guilty Six Year Old by Gary Soto

- Exploring the minds of six-year-olds can be a very interesting experience. Gary Soto narrates this story as a young boy at a time when he seems to be young and foolish. Soto does a great job of showing the contrast between right and wrong through a child’s eyes. He successfully conveys the guilt of the boy through his use of imagery, repetition and contrast. He uses these tools to get the reader into the mind of the boy so that they can explore his guilt and thoughts. He first gets the reader to understand what he is thinking with the use of imagery....   [tags: imagery, crossed-eye john]

Research Papers
630 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Literature Is The Foundation Of Life

- With this broad educational system, there are so many to study. So why study literature at all. The answer is that literature is the foundation of life. While it is physically written in words, these words come alive in the imagination of the mind, and its ability to comprehend the complexity or simplicity of the text. Literature allows readers to experience life from the saddest stories to the happiest ones that will touch their hearts. It is a key for individuals to comprehend and understand others as well as oneself....   [tags: Personal life, Psychology, Mind, Consciousness]

Research Papers
1112 words (3.2 pages)

Adolescence in Gary Soto’s The Jacket Essay

- Adolescence often places a child in the difficult position of wanting to impress their peers and simultaneously please their parents. Such quandary occurs in Gary Soto’s “The Jacket” when the young boy is placed in the unenviable position of wearing a jacket that is a displeasing shade of green. The jacket was given to him by his beloved mother. This young man was hoping for a cool jacket , “something like the bikers wear: black leather and silver studs, with enough belts to hold down a small town.”(3)....   [tags: Gary Soto, The Jacket]

Research Papers
500 words (1.4 pages)

Fruits of Love Revealed in Gary Soto's Oranges Essay

- The Fruits of Love Revealed in Gary Soto's Oranges   Imagine that it's winter and cold outside. There's nervous electricity around you, and love is a new and exciting experience. In your heart you feel warmth you've never known before. This is the moment Gary Soto captures in his poem "Oranges". The feeling and power of adolescent love is created using tone, contrasting imagery, and symbolism. First, the use of tone in "Oranges" clearly helps to set the theme of the poem. Children often talk with simple sentences that directly state what happened....   [tags: Gary Soto Oranges Essays]

Research Papers
686 words (2 pages)

Essay on Gary Soto and Cathy Song's Black Hair and Lost Sister

- Gary Soto and Cathy Song's Black Hair and Lost Sister Gary Soto and Cathy Song, the authors of Black Hair and Lost Sister, have had to come to terms with their culture. Living in America, it’s hard to think outside the box because of stereotypes and pre-dispositions. In order to find you’re self and come to terms with who you are as a person apposed to what the rest of the world may view you as, you have to approach the stereotypes head on and grow from them. Both of the speakers in Black Hair and Lost Sister has had to recognize the short comings of their culture to be accepted and grow in the American Culture....   [tags: Gary Soto Cathy Song Black Hair and Lost Sister]

Research Papers
908 words (2.6 pages)

`` Like Mexican `` By Gary Soto Essay

- “We all use stereotypes all the time, without knowing it. We have met the enemy of equality, and the enemy is us,” quoted by Annie Murphy Paul, a journalist. Human beings typically have varied mindsets as they grow up with different cultural values as well as social environment. Author Gary Soto’s “Like Mexican” compares his Mexican life with his wife’s Japanese background, while author Deborah Tannen’s “Gender in the Classroom” contrasts the “gender-related styles” of male and female students. From the two perspectives Soto’s and Tannen’s experiences’ give a universal, stereotypical point how different gender tendencies, conversational styles, and cultural background can result in a miscomm...   [tags: Gender, Male, Female, Human]

Research Papers
1182 words (3.4 pages)

Looking For Work By Gary Soto Essay

- Do you have any friend or relatives that are considered to be broken or disorganized family. Do you know that many disorganized family are likely to ties with their extended family. If you know any broken or disorganized families, you may realized that a broken family usually faced many difficulties, such as financial problem, missing family members, and they tend to be unhappy comparing to others. Moreover, missing a father figure in the house for a child could cause numbers of problems. In the novel “Looking for Work” the main character and also the author who named Gary Soto, a nine year old Mexican American boy, he was from a disorganized and broken family....   [tags: Family, Nuclear family, Extended family, Mother]

Research Papers
1104 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Like Mexicans By Gary Soto

- “Like Mexicans” Essay In the short reading “Like Mexicans” Gary Soto is undecided about what route he should pursue when moving on into the future. In his early teens his grandmother told him to become a barber and to marry a Mexican girl, Soto’s mother told him this as well. When Soto was in his twenties he ended up falling in love with a Japanese woman named Carolyn. Towards the end of the story Soto realized that the reason his mom wanted him to marry a Mexican girl was because they are in the same social class as him....   [tags: Family, Marriage, Woman, Wife]

Research Papers
835 words (2.4 pages)

Like Mexicans By Gary Soto Essay

- In the story "Like Mexicans", Gary Soto explains how his grandmother was an influence in his life. She would always give him advice; both good and bad. One of her good advice was that he should marry a woman of a certain race. Soto 's grandmother raised him believing his future wife should be Mexican. She gave him reasons why a Mexican girl would make a great wife. His mother agrees and supports the idea. For years, he was in search of his brown girl. He was infatuated with the idea of finally finding a nice Mexican girl....   [tags: Marriage, Family, Wife, Woman]

Research Papers
811 words (2.3 pages)

Gary Soto Essay

- 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 foolmaking 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....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
559 words (1.6 pages)

Related Searches

The point of the story is easily carried across by other literary devices, but the device that truly conveys a feeling or idea to the reader is pacing. As one reads the story, the reader should clearly be able to tell when the young Gary was scared, anxious, excited, etc. The absolute perfect example of imagery is conveyed not in a sentence, but several paragraphs: the final two paragraphs. A reader can tell that he got scared because he had the look of guilt, which could hint at people that something is wrong. In the final paragraph, one can tell that Gary became truly frightened and nervous when he wasn’t sure what the noises really were.
Many authors have written some of the best stories or essays of all time, but none of their works have succeeded without exceptional usage of literary devices. Gary Soto is one of those authors. In his autobiography, A Summer Life, Mr. Soto describes a time when he learned what sin really is. Gary used detail, imagery, and pacing to tell what his surroundings looked like, what he thought, and how he felt. A reader can always tell when an author is actually reliving or living the experience of the main character, and obviously, Mr. Soto will never forget this “spiritual” moment in his life.

Return to 123HelpMe.com