What is the theme of "Oranges" by Gary Soto?
Credit: Mikael Miettinen CC-BY-2.0
Q:

What is the theme of "Oranges" by Gary Soto?

A:

Quick Answer

The themes present in the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto include love, maturation and poverty. The poem is an account of a first date between a young boy and girl. Although Soto never explicitly uses the word "love" to describe the relationship between the young couple, the emotion saturates the poem.

  Know More

Full Answer

The theme of love is implied in the way that the boy notices and describes all of the small details about the girl, such as "her face bright with rouge" and "light in her eyes, a smile starting at the corners of her mouth." That feeling is reinforced when the boy states, "I took my girl's hand."

The theme of maturation appears throughout the poem, such as when the boy offers to buy the girl any candy she wants, and he smartly offers an orange and a nickel as payment for it. He also shows initiative by taking her hand.

Soto is known for examining the effects of poverty in his poetry. In "Oranges," that theme is symbolized by the boy's inability to pay for the candy. However, his poverty is overcome with kindness and love when the store clerk accepts the orange as payment for the candy. The clerk recognizes that the boy is trying to do something nice for her and honors that effort.

Learn more about Poetry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the poem "Air Castles" about?

    A:

    "Air Castles," written by American poet Patricia Gale, tells of the speaker of the poem's hope of one day finding the love of their life. The narrator daydreams about this future lover while staring into a fire at midnight.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a cute poem you would send to your ex-boyfriend that you still love and miss very much?

    A:

    To choose a light-hearted love poem to send to an ex-boyfriend, look into poems by Ogden Nash or e. e. cummings, depending on how overtly you wish to state your love. Both poets are famous for their craft and whimsy, but differ greatly in their impact.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the meaning of the poem "Bonsai" by Edith Tiempo?

    A:

    The poem "Bonsai" by Edith Tiempo is about love and how people imbue certain objects with love for a person, and those objects become the symbol of love. Edith Tiempo starts out her poem by describing what she does with love. She folds it to make it smaller so that she can keep it in a box, hollow post or shoe. Because love is an abstract concept and has no physical form, she is obviously talking about objects.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a good poem regarding true friendship?

    A:

    Emily Brontë, author of "Wuthering Heights," wrote a poem called "Love and Friendship" that compares friendship with love and argues that the former is more beautiful than the latter because of its faithfulness. Similarly, Robert Frost's "A Time to Talk" portrays the importance of a friend's visit in concise language.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore