We Break Pencils

Five Ripe Pears

Five ripe pears is a true story of William Saroyan, who also happens to be the author of the book. The book appears to be addressed to Mr. Saroyan’s child hood principal by the name Mr. Pollard who had punished him for stealing five apples. That incident, though if happened many years back had made him to be branded a thief and hence this treatise was his effort to defend himself and set the record straight. He feels that the punishment meted out to him was unjustified in light of what transpired on that day.

For a start, Saroyan reasons that he did not in any way steal any pears because by his own reckoning, the pears were public property. He justifies the notion of public property by the fact that the pears he plucked were on a branch hanging outside the fence. To him, the fence can only protect whatever is enclosed therein, and as long as he could reach the ones that were outside the confines of the fence, then they were his. He succinctly states that he did not just want the pears for consumption, but he just wanted them for the sake of wanting them. He asserts that the pears were a gift to him from God in that he had seen the tree from the time it was leafless to the moment it bloomed right to the time it brought forth fruit.

The author states that he managed to pluck out five ripe fruits of which he ate one and carried the remaining four back to class. His arrival in class carrying four apples caused quite a commotion with the class teacher, Miss Larkin accusing him of theft and hence deserving punishment. He is immediately referred to Mr. Pollard’s office to await punishment. While in the office awaiting Mr. Pollard’s arrival, he eats the remaining four pears and sits back to wait for him to arrive. Mr. Pollard arrives and administers the punishment as expected. According to the author, the irony is that during all this time nobody bothers to ask or understand why he carried the four remaining apples to school. He could a well have eaten them and made up a lie to cover for his lateness to class. But to him the reason for taking them to school was because he wanted to show everybody how beautiful they were.