What does the orange symbolize in "Oranges" by Gary Soto?  

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The orange symbolizes young love.

The speaker acknowledges the presence of the oranges when he first walked with a girl.  He projects his emotions onto him.  They become symbolic of the innocent, young love he has for her.

The first time I walked

With a girl, I was twelve,

Cold, and weighted down

With two oranges in my jacket

For the speaker, a dime is a lot of money.  He clearly has the two oranges for them, but the girl wants chocolate.  Since he only has a nickel, he uses the orange.  He uses the orange to pay for the candy the girl wants, and the woman in the store lets him.  She acknowledges that she knows “what it was all about.”  The orange allows him to make the girl happy.  It allows him to have his special moment.

I took my girl’s hand

In mine for two blocks,

Then released it to let

Her unwrap the chocolate.

Young love is innocent, inexperienced, simple, and pure.  The incident with walking together, holding hands, unwrapping a candy, and eating an orange demonstrates this.  Soto captures a simple incident from a simple time with deep emotional connections.

sunset35's profile pic

sunset35 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Can be the first young love, is the most powerful feeling or emotion that the human can feel about it.

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