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Compare and Contrast Oranges by Gary Soto and Oranges by Ronald Wallace

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One can notice the alacrity of the fishermen and the progression of day. ‘The sun ripens in the sky. The wind turns thin and citrus, The day precise, fragile. ’(Wallace, 116) Both the poems are about a sojourn- a lover makes for his girlfriend. Soto has described the outer journey of two souls in love. The two poems are different in a way because Soto’s poem is about a first time love; while that of Wallace is mature love, which culminates in sex. Soto’s sojourn is longer than Wallace and it takes place in two segments: first, he goes to his girl friend’s house; then takes her out to buy chocolate; and then they further walk two blocks while she eats chocolate and he peels his orange.

He is constantly aware of the passion and desire of love raging in his heart. ‘Someone might have thought I was making a fire with my hands. ’(Soto, 74) The setting of both the poems is different. Though both are written against the backdrop of a very cold season; Wallace’s poem is set around a lake, while that of Soto’s poem revolves around a residential area with a drug store, parking lot, line of planted trees, and roads. Soto narrates his perspective by using a lot of body language of the characters and observation of the poet himself.

‘I fingered a nickel in my pocket’; ‘set them quietly on the counter. ’(Soto, 73). He is successful in sketching the complete picture of the girl by the way she smiles; and pulls on her gloves. Light in her eyes, a smile Starting at the corners Of her mouth. (Soto, 73) There is absolutely no conversation in both the poems. Feelings are conveyed through gestures only.

‘He remembered you as ‘light’, that was what he said, I heard it from him. But even without words I knew that you were light for him. ’(Dostoevsky, 474) Both the poems are pure action and what follows as a result of it. Soto buys a chocolate for his girlfriend, and he is enjoying the divine silence of their walk. He is immersed in the wonderful feeling called love. Wallace is a bit brief, straightforward, frank, open and quick in narrating his episode with his girlfriend.

He leaves much of it to the imagination of the readers. He just gives them a cue as to what might/shall happen next and ends his narrative. But there is more energy in his poem because of stronger emotions and feelings enhanced by the sexual attractiveness of his girlfriend. They both know what is going to happen next. He refers to the cold wind outside and warms himself in the sun of love and passion. On the other hand, the warmth is felt only in the heart of Soto, or when he watches his breath gone in the cold of December.

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preview essay on Compare and Contrast Oranges by Gary Soto and Oranges by Ronald Wallace
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Masters
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