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Parker Doninger

Mrs. Bernhard
AP English
Cherry Bomb
In the story Cherry Bomb, Maxine Clair writes about an adult narrator who is recalling
tales of her youth. To be specific, the summer of her 5th grade year. The passage talks about
the adventures she has and the things she does during this summer. What makes this passage
interesting, however, is the way that Maxine Clair uses literary techniques to characterize the
narrators memories of summer.
Maxine Clair uses literary techniques often in this passage. For example, when writing
about how hot it was that summer, Maxine Clair talks about how Mr Calhoun would come
around in that-old-thing of an ice truck and how the narrators mother would buy an help-himout block of ice. Maxine Clair uses literary techniques to provide emphasis for the narrator's
memories. The author makes this passage unique by using literary techniques to make the
passage stand out to the reader. When the narrator writes about the Hairy Man, she writes
about how she would see him wooly-headed and bearded, hollering things we dared not
The line that really stands out is line 34, when the narrator writes about her fathers
heart. She writes about how the narrator is going into her closet for her box of private things,
when the narrator pushes past a raggedy mouton. In most stories this would simply be
dismissed as a piece of clothing and you would move on. In this story, however, the author
stops and writes about how it belonged to narrators fathers mother, and how she had been her
fathers Heart when she died. The author does the same thing with the jacket next to this
mouton, writing about how it had belonged to the narrators father when he had been shipped

out to the Pacific. Instead of just dismissing these items and moving on with the story, the author
makes sure they are noticed by using literary techniques.
The Literary techniques are also rather noticeable when the narrator talks about her
cousin Eddys accident. Eddy threw a cherry bomb over the roof, but before it went over it
exploded. The narrator described the event as seeing a piece of tin shot God-is-whipping-you
straight for Eddys eye. The narrator also describes his injury as like a piece of twine down the
side of his face. This is a great use of imagery, as it allows the reader to actually imagine what
Eddy looked like after the accident.
Maxine Clair uses imagery often in this passage for a few of reasons. She wanted the
passage to stand out because it is a flashback to the narrators fifth grade year summer. She
also uses it in this passage so that readers will also pay more attention to spots that they might
usually skim by without paying much attention. Also, the author likes to use these techniques in
areas of the passage that she wants to standout, as though they may be significant later on in
the story. Maxine Clair characterizes her characters in this passage incredibly well through the
use of literary techniques.