Cherry Bomb by Maxine Clair Analysis

Revised For children growing up in a large extended family, camaraderie and a willingness to share is developed over time, but sometimes a child has to have their own possessions, something that is theirs. In Maxine Clair’s Cherry Bomb the narrator uses a deeply reminiscent tone, thought provoking diction, and vivid descriptive imagery to detail a summer in which she finally has her own thing. This passage is written reminiscently as the narrator recants that summer, where her life was care free.

I am in this world, but not of it” the narrator says matter-of-factly, describing how as a child she didn’t have much nor did she need it. The narrator remembers her mother’s sayings and steadfastly reuses them throughout the passage, seasoning the story with earnestness and nostalgia with sayings such as “help-him-out” and “that-old-thing”. These sayings also show the narrator’s memory of her mother, furthermore causing a light and free feeling to the piece. The imagery in this piece truly shines, going hand-in-hand with the reminiscent tone.

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The author recants every shade and hue from her childhood remembering “the yellow house on Sherman Avenue” where the “wooly headed and bearded” man lived and “the putrid colored jacket” her father wore to his station in the Pacific Ocean. The narrator even remembers the scar her cousin Eddy had on his face “Like a piece of twine down the side of his face”. Due to the aforementioned tone of this piece being so light and warm this accident even seemed dare I say, bright, with the narrator humorously recalling the “Black-Eyed Pea” being jokingly said to her cousin.

Finally, the diction in this piece is what causes all of the loose ends to be tied together so fluidly. The narrator’s slang and specific phrases causes the child like innocence of the piece to really shine thru. The narrator remembering that the cherry bomb was hidden in a “Libby’s Corn can” and that the closet was “cave dark” causes the reader to realized that this earnest sweet story can relate to their own childhood when they too had something special of their own.

Summer is a time for a child to do many things, it’s to play all night and sleep all day, it’s to adventure and do things that their not supposed to do, and finally it’s a time for a child to grow and mature on their on. In this story, the cherry bomb was a manifestation of the narrator’s journey to be an individual and to become apart of this world. Something so meager meant so much to this young girl, ultimately categorizing this summer as a summer that she will never forget.

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Cherry Bomb by Maxine Clair Analysis. (2019, May 02). Retrieved from