What is the author trying to convey in the poem "Oranges"?

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estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The author Gary Soto attempts to convey the experience of young love and sacrifice as a bright spot in a long life, despite its hardships, in "Oranges." The poem is the story of a first date to the candy store at a very young age, told from the perspective of an adult looking back on his life.

Soto contrasts old and new, bright and dull throughout the poem as metaphors for a young versus an old life. The trading of his orange for candy for his girlfriend also conveys how life is beginning to change as he becomes an adult. His own bright, colorful orange is sacrificed for dark, sweet chocolate for someone else, his girlfriend. This conveys how life changes as you grow up and mature.

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