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Word Count: 1,183
The poem The Fish Are All Sick by Anne Stevenson speaks a lot about the relationship between humans and nature specifically the marine ecosystem in the world today Looking closely at the title of the poem it seems that the poem is fictional - we usually hear fishes getting sick in fictional literary pieces In addition to that the use of the word all is an exaggeration of the dramatic situation of the poem - fishes are all sick And the fact that it goes on to saying that whales are dying an irony - whales are dying but inferior creatures such as fishes are only sick aggravates the situation The first line of the poem already introduces the conflict The phrase great whales dead further exaggerates the dramatic situation of the poem However being one who lives in the modern world one will think twice about this statement since at this point in time it is highly possible for all fishes to get sick due to the modern advancement of the world In line with that this ambiguity connotes a dichotomy of feelings - an ambivalence as to how humanity should act Should humanity recognize the graveness of this issue fact or is it an exaggeration of environmentalists sentiments hyperbole Notice that the poem is able to produce this effect only because of humanitys incognizance of the present condition of nature Otherwise it would be clear as to whether the first line of the poem is a hyperbole or a statement of fact Lines 2 to 7 describe two different classes of men in relation to their roles in the environment Lines 2 to 5 pertain to the people virtually living near the bodies of water with most of them being fishermen The phrases sea men and low houses denote poverty The villages along the coast being described as stranded and like ornamentals represent the helplessness of the people - that is if they
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