The Fish Poem Analysis

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Life leaves people battered with the obstacles one faces, but such experiences leave us all the wiser for it. In Elizabeth Bishop's “The Fish,” she utilizes the fish to represent how people struggle and get scarred throughout their life, but these barriers give us wisdom and courage to pick ourselves up and face what's ahead. The title of the poem is representative of the crucial nature of its central symbol, the fish while using free verse throughout one large stanza to do so; Bishop has the speaker tell a story without rhyme or rhythm, rather, focusing on the symbolic content.
Evocative imagery enhances the meaning of the poem and the symbols it employs. The majority of the visual imagery utilized in the poem is focused on the central character, the fish. He is described as “tremendous” with “brown skin [which] hung in strips like ancient wallpaper” and “coarse white flesh packed in like feathers.” Her imagery uses time-related diction with words like “ancient,” “age,” “frayed,” or “sun-cracked.” Combined with her effective imagery, the reader feels bad for the fish. Like a number of people, the fish has had a tough life and is worn down from all the trials it has faced. One can clearly picture the physical appearance of the fish, how it has been caught numerous times before, and how each of those times it had been let go accumulating new scars all the way. During the course of the poem, there is a shift in the tone of the speaker. At first, the speaker
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People learn by trial and error; one makes a mistake the first time then avoids the same mistake the next time. Bishop through her incredible talent is able to make something as trivial as catching a fish a universalized experience for both the speaker and the reader. Such experiences shape our perspective and vitalize aspects of life that before, may not have been fully

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