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Word Count: 863
From the onset of civilization society has increased its capabilities in the quest for survival Methods of achieving fundamental needs have been belittled through modernization In 1946 a time period defined by abundant technological advancement Elizabeth Bishop describes the art of capturing a fish from water an act once used simply as a food source in her poem The Fish As the narrator caught the fish only to observe and then release the creature the reader develops a desire to discover exactly what is being observed Upon analysis of the work the poem represents Bishops personal life historical events of importance to her and her views on American society First of all as the fish is held beside the boat Bishop sees elements of her own personal existence in the animal For instance as the fish struggled for air its gills were crisp from blood because breathing can cut so badlyBishop 1211 The fish represents previously repressed inner thoughts and its advancement into the conscious environment creates extreme pain Like the fish most creatures can exist only in an aquatic condition or a terrestrial condition just as an individuals thoughts can occupy either a cognizant or a subliminal setting Next as the speaker attempts to look into the fishs eyes the vision is seen through the lenses of old scratched isinglass Bishop 1211 Isinglass a product from the internal organs of fish used to produce windows creates a paradoxical statement showing that one cannot completely connect with their internal feelings The hazy circular relationship between the fish and mariner displays the struggle for an individual to connect with their inner self Finally preceding the release of the animal five hooks from earlier retrievals are described as the fishs beard of wisdom Bishop 1212 The collection of strings symbolize past personal revelations that Bishop arrived at by connecting with herself In order to validate this argument one must visualize the body of water that contains
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