A Summer Life by Gary Soto
In the passage, “A Summer life” by Gary Soto. He writes an autobiography about his childhood past. One summer day, where he stole a pie from the market. Knowing it was a bad idea, he still did it anyways. In the pie-stealing passage from his autobiography, Gary Soto presents his guilty six-year-old self through descriptions of his guilt, through references to religion, and through his paranoid belief that everyone can see what he has done. Gary Soto’s guilt is first made clear by his descriptions of his guilty feelings. Soto expresses his guilt at first before he ate the pie.
When another kid from Soto’s neighborhood, Johnny asked for some pie, he replied no but shortly after he ate the pie, he stated, “I felt bad for not sharing with cross-eyed Johnny. ” Soto reflects his actions with regret, not only he stole the pie but he didn’t want to share the delightful taste of the pie with anyone else. There was enough for both Johnny and him but he didn’t want to give Johnny any. Which is why Soto felt very judgmental about himself. Soon after Soto finished the pie, he said, “ The pie tin glared at me. Basically what he meant by that was that the pie tin looked at him in a disappointed way. By looking back at the pie tin he reflects his guilt because what he did, he knew it was wrong. His guilty feelings come through him, which he realizes he was to blame for. Gary Soto’s guilt is also made clear by his numerous references to religion. After stealing the pie, he relates it with the biblical image of, “an apple got Eve in deep trouble with a snake. ” The thought scares him even more knowing that after Adam and Eve stole the apple, they both got punished for it.
Soto then realizes that soon he is going to be punished for his actions. Soto admits, “I know enough about hell to stop me from stealing. ” At the time, he thinks about everything he has learned in religion school. But what he said is what kept him out of trouble for all those years, but now that he has stolen something. He worries that now his sins will send him to hell. Soto regrets his actions because he does not want to be punished. Finally Gary Soto’s guilt is made clear through his paranoia, his belief that all sorts of people know what he has done.
He knew his neighbor saw, “Mrs. Hancock stood on her lawn, hands on her hip, and she knew. ” Soto thinks she knows because when she puts her hands on her hip, he felt like he was being disciplined for it. “A car honked, and the driver knew. ” Soto explained that he knew the driver knew he stole the pie, which made him feel ashamed even more. Even his mother knew, “My mom, peeling a mountain of potatoes at the Red-spud factory knew. ” The fact that his own mother knew he did that made him feel horrible