The Pie Summer Life Essay

Submitted By KaitlynPower
Words: 945
Pages: 4

Kaitlyn Power
Period 1-1
The Pie Essay
In the chapter “The Pie” from A Summer Life, by Gary Soto, a little boy steals a pie from a German Market. Gary wonders during his decisions, if God if guiding him through his choices. During this chapter Gary recreates his six-year-old guilty self by repetition of sins, religious diction, and light to dark imagery. The most notable device used in “The Pie” is the repetition of sins. Gary feels as if he is the perfect child in his eyes, and demonstrates this in the quote, “I was holy in almost every bone.” (Page 55) Before Gary steals the apple pie, and he points out that boredom his what makes him sin. Gary states when he exits the market with the pie under his coffee lid Frisbee, “The juice of guilt wet my underarms.” (Page 55) Gary continuously refers to “the shadows of angels” which displays the significance of the sins “you take and don’t give back.” The shadows of angels also display how close God feels to Gary in his imagination and the apparent messages Gary believes he is receiving from God. Another prominent use of repetition is when Gary talks about his conscience being, “sticky with guilt.”(Page 56) Gary becomes paranoid as demonstrated in this quote, “A car honked, and the driver knew. Mrs. Hancock stood on her lawn, hands on her hips, and she knew. My mom, peeling a mountain of potatoes at the Redi-Spud factory, knew.” (Page 57) and it seemed as if everyone knew about his sin. Guilt begins to overcome Gary when he tears up thinking about the previous thoughts of the lights shining off the grocer’s head and all the other pies on the rack in the market. Gary crawls under his house to lay in the darkness alone to think about what he did. Another significant device Soto uses in this chapter is religious diction. A biblical metaphor of Jesus being crucified is illustrated by the quote, “The sun wavered between the branches of a yellowish sycamore. A squirrel hailed itself high on the trunk, where it forked into two large bark scabbed limbs.” (Page 56) Soto uses the biblical references to express the guilt that follows his theft. Gary fears everlasting thirst as he eats the pie. The fear that God would send him into a desert for his theft, which was stated in the beginning of the chapter with the allusion of Adam and Eve, overcomes him. Gary uses the comparison of his sin to Adam and Eve because of the connection between the apple and the apple pie. When Gary refers to all the objects that are reflected off the sun, he if referring to the light of God to make him aware that God is watching over him. Gary knows that after Adam and Eve stole the apple, they were punished for it. Gary soon realizes that he is going to be punished for his actions. Soto admits to himself, “I know enough about hell to stop me from stealing.” (Page 55) This refers back to when he says he is holy in almost every bone. The first paragraph mentions Soto’s constant holiness, “…heard faraway messages in the plumbing,” (Page 55) supposedly from God himself, and that he saw “angles flopping on the backyard grass.” (Page 55) Soto observes the different types of pie at the market, “Pecan and apple being my favorite, although cherry looked good, and my dear fat-faced chocolate was always a good bet.” (Page 55) This represents a religious point by comparing the pies to sins, all…