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Word Count: 858
The Catch of a Lifetime Andrienne Rich once said I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images Elizabeth Bishop applies Richs quote in the poem The Fish The poem tells about a situation where Bishop catches an unattractive fish As she studies the fish closer Bishop notices that the fish has special characteristics These features slowly carry the fish from an unworthy catch to a great accomplishment Bishops use of imagery allows the reader to see a fish that becomes more than just an ordinary catch By gaining respect from Bishop the fish becomes a triumph With a grunting weight Bishop reels in a lethargic old unpleasant fish At first glance Bishop sees no qualities that make the catch worthwhile With imagery Bishop is able to assert the idea that the fish is not wanted The brown skin hanging in strips like ancient wall-paper and its pattern of darker brown like wall-paper give the fish an unappealing quality 13 The dull colors and reference to age suggest to the reader that the fish is not special Bishop begins to study the fish closely She pays greater attention to detail The colors begin to shift from dull to bright This change is seen when Bishop depicts the fishs wound The frightening gills fresh and crisp with blood the big bones and the little bones the dramatic red and blacks of his shiny entrails and the pink swim-bladder like a big peony 33 Bishop begins to appreciate the fish The dramatic change in colors adds to the idea The reader interprets Bishops mood change through the flattery of the fish Bishop looks at the fishs eyes and admires his sullen face 45 The admiration for the fish is ironic since he was detested when first caught The relationship between the fish and Bishop becomes even closer when she
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