scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 593
The Fish Elizabeth Bishops poem The Fish narrates the changing attitude of the speaker towards the fish First the fish is described as ancient and grizzled showing signs of death and decay However upon closer inspection the fish is made out to be a survivor of many battles Through the use of figurative language the poet shows the speakers shift from noting only the fishs dejection to admiring him for his past glories Bishop begins with the personification of the fish into a figure of defeat and age The speaker mentions that the fish had not fought at all as though he had given up all hope She compares the fishs skin to old wallpaper which would not be securely attached to the wall as skin loses firmness with age In addition Bishop details the extent of the fishs injuries everything from lice and barnacles to the fresh blood of his wounds Such imagery invokes feelings of decay and abandonment as parasites are allowed to slowly consume him The speaker also contemplates the fishs innards suggesting that his has become a mass of flesh and bone without spirit The speaker furthers the personification of the fish by looking into his eyes and remarking that he had not looked back fully Instead the fish had only shifted his stare a little towards the light further suggesting lack of will while giving the fish a very human feeling of dejection Not caring about the face of his conqueror the fish only seeks to confront death represented by the light that he turns towards The focus on the fishs physical structure denotes the fishs lack of spirit yet it is this very lifelessness that gives the fish the human emotions of apathy and hopelessness Through the personification of the fish the poet shows the speakers projection of lack of spirit and hope onto the fish In contrast the speakers discovery of past hooks imbedded into the fishs mouth
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA