The Fish By Elizabeth Bishop Essay, Research Paper
The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop: Gone Fishin & # 8217 ; & # 8220 ; The Fish & # 8221 ; by Elizabeth Bishop is saturated with graphic imagination andabundant description, which help the reader visualise the action. Bishop & # 8217 ; s useof imagination, narrative, and tone let the reader to visualise the fish andcreate a bond with him, a bond in which the reader has a great trade ofadmiration for the fish & # 8217 ; s predicament. The mental images created are, in fact, sobrilliant that the reader believes incident really happened to a existent individual, therefore constructing regard from the reader to the fish. Initially the reader is bombarded with an intense image of the fish ; heis & # 8220 ; enormous, & # 8221 ; & # 8220 ; battered, & # 8221 ; & # 8220 ; venerable, & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; homely. & # 8221 ; The reader issympathetic with the fish & # 8217 ; s state of affairs, and can associate because everyone has beenfishing. Following, Bishop compares the fish to familiar family objects: & # 8220 ; here andthere / his brown tegument hung in strips / like ancient wallpaper, / and itspattern of darker brown / was like wallpaper ; & # 8221 ; she uses two similes with commonobjects to make understanding for the prisoner. Bishop so goes on to clearlyillustrate what she means by & # 8220 ; wallpaper & # 8221 ; : & # 8220 ; forms like matured roses /stained and lost through age. & # 8221 ; She uses another simile here paired withdescriptive phrases, and these efficaciously depict a personal image of the fish.She uses the familiar & # 8220 ; wallpaper & # 8221 ; comparing because it is something thereaders can associate to their ain lives. Besides the & # 8220 ; ancient wallpaper & # 8221 ; analogy canrefer to the fish & # 8217 ; s age. Although bleached and aged he withstood the trial of clip, like the wallp copycat. Bishop uses extremely descriptive words like & # 8220 ; speckled & # 8221 ; and & # 8221 ; infested & # 8221 ; to make an even clearer mental image. The word & # 8220 ; awful & # 8221 ; isused to depict O, and this is dry because O is normally good, but in the instance of the fish it is damaging. The usage of & # 8220 ; awful & # 8221 ; allowsthe reader to visualise the fish gasping for breaths and contending against the & # 8221 ; awful O, & # 8221 ; allowing us to see the fish & # 8217 ; s quandary on his level.The word terrorization does basically the same thing in the following phrase, & # 8220 ; thefrightening gills. & # 8221 ; It creates a negative image of something ( gills ) usuallyconsidered favourable, bring forthing an intense ocular with minimum words. Anothersimile is used to assist the reader image the fish & # 8217 ; s battle: & # 8220 ; harsh whiteflesh packed in like feathers. & # 8221 ; This diction intensifies the reader & # 8217 ; s initialview of the fish, and creates a ocular, once more, on the reader & # 8217 ; s level.Bishop following relates to the fish on a personal footing: & # 8220 ; I looked into hiseyes? ? I admired his dark face, the mechanism of his jaw. & # 8221 ; Through thisintense enunciation, a tone of regard is produced. It is as if, for a minute, thepoet descended to the fish & # 8217 ; s degree, and
the reader then has more respect for thefish’s situation and the narrator’s position regarding the fish. She describedthe fish’s stare “like the tipping of an object towards the light;” this veryastute observation shows the reader that the poet is thinking deeply about thefish, and there is a connection made on the part of the poet. The lip “if youcould call it a lip” is the next part observed. It is described as “grim,””wet,” and “weapon-like,” giving the reader, through personification, a “fishy”view of the creature as he actually exists. As she explains the hooks and linescaught in his lip, the reader learns that his lip has grown around the hooks,thus becoming part of the fish. These appendages hang “like medals with theirribbons frayed and wavering,” creating the image of a hero winning manycompetitions or battles. This simile creates another level of respect for thefish on the part of the narrator, and following the simile is a metaphor whichemphasizes the narrator’s ensuing admiration for the fish. The fish is nowconsidered “wise” with his “five-haired beard of wisdom trailing behind hisaching jaw;” and he is now on a higher plateau of respect.The narrator then compares this little fish’s greatness with her boat.This “rented boat” “leaking oil” from its “rusted engine” created a rainbow sobeautiful that she became overwhelmed and released the fish. The boat startedout imperfect, but so overwhelmed the poet, that she released the fish. Here,the boat can be compared to the fish, in it’s initial imperfection, then to itsfinal magnificence. The descriptive words allow the reader to, again, visualizethe moment vividly through the eyes of the narrator.Bishop does an outstanding job in describing every moment in hergrowing relationship with the fish. She creates, first, an image of a helplesscaptive and the reader is allowed to feel sorry for the fish and even pity hissituation. The narrator’s relationship with the fish then grows to one ofpersonal regard as she looks into his eyes and describes his stare. Because thereader is following the story with the poet, the reader’s relationship to thefish evolves as Bishop’s does. Next, a level of admiration is reached, whenBishop notices his five hooked jaw; she realizes his situation of capture andimprisonment and releases him as he’d gotten away five times before. Thereader’s admiration also reaches this level of respect, in that the fish hadbeen caught five times previously and still managed to be alive. The fish’s”badges of courage,” described by Bishop, allowed the reader to grow and createa bond with the fish and understand his life. The imagery and description werethe vital tools in implanting this growing admiration for something as trivialas a fish.