Delusions In Gary Soto's A Summer Life

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At the very core of humanity and its behavior lies mistakes and wrongdoings. No matter how intensively they may try to stay faithful, every person occasionally betrays their moral conscience. This trespass has been interpreted in countless forms of literature and media ever since the written and verbal word has existed. Gary Soto’s A Summer Life is a powerful example, using diverse forms of rhetoric to convey his cycle of initial pleasure, guilt, and eventual remorse over the measures taken place in the autobiographical narrative. The author uses vivid imagery, allegorical symbolism, and thought provoking biblical allusions to change a recreation of something one-dimensional, such as stealing a pie, into a six-year-old undergoing an ethical dilemma. Soto’s vocabulary illustrates himself…show more content…
This is shown through numerous biblical allusions in the text. The opening paragraph begins with a monologue, “I knew enough about hell to stop me from stealing. I was holy in almost every bone.” Soto acknowledges the moral impurity and “sin” that comes from stealing, and yet due to him not being entirely holy, he cannot be voided from making mistakes and being a sinner. Multiple times throughout, Soto mentions a “howling” heard underneath his house in the plumbing. Each time, he describes an angelic figure, or even God himself, to be the source of the noise. This possibly symbolizes an intervention attempt of a higher power or a guilty conscience. Whenever he has reached the “depths,” of his house, there will always be some force that odes him to make the correct choices. In conclusion, Soto retells an event of his past youth that aided in a greater understanding of morality, guilt, and sin. He comes to terms at the end, saying that “sin was what you took and didn’t give back.” This literary work is told through the use of several rhetorical devices, including imagery, symbolism, and
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