Gary Soto’s Pie Passage
In his autobiographical narrative about the time he stole pie from a German Market, Gary Soto recreates the experience of his guilty 6-year-old-self. Soto uses devices such as imagery, diction, and biblical allusions to tell of his experience.
Soto uses imagery to depict how alluring the pie was that caused him to sin. In the pie shop, he “gazed at the nine kinds of pie” with “his sweet tooth gleaming. This shows how much he wanted the delicious pie. Furthermore, by using imagery, the author causes the reader to start to crave the pie as well. This causes the reader to be put into Gary’s shoes, and makes him a more relatable person. The same effect is shown later on when he starts to eat the pie. He says that the “slop was sweet and gold-colored in the afternoon sun”. Another effect of this imagery is that it portrays that the forbidden fruit is the sweetest. Because the pie wasn’t his to take, it tasted even better knowing that he was enjoying something that wasn’t rightfully his.
Gary Soto uses diction in devices such as hyperbole and repetition to show how immense his guilt was. In the beginning, Soto says he “was holy in almost every bone” to describe himself. This conveys that he thought of himself as being so pure, that it was practically to the point of divinity. He thought he was near perfect. Gary seems to be reassuring himself of his purity, and is trying to be convinced that he’s not an evil person, by thinking self-righteous thoughts. This is significant because any sin, especially one as major as stealing, would ruin purity, which bothers him. Further along the story, he steals and consumes the pie, and afterwards thought about the people around him. He uses repetition when he observes that, “A car honked, and the driver knew. Mrs. Hancock stood on her lawn, hands on hip, and she knew. My mom, peeling a mountain of potatoes at the Redi-Spud factory, knew.” This repetition of the word “knew” highlights a sense of guilty...