war veteran

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Simile, irony, imagery and tone are some of the elements used in Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “The Fish”, to convey her theme of admiration and respect for a hard life lived. This poem is about a fisherman who catches a fish and then ultimately lets the fish go when the speaker gains respect for the fish and how he has lived through being caught five times. The poem mostly consists of descriptive similes to describe the fish and clever imagery to allow the reader to really see what the fisherman is seeing and feeling. The irony in this poem is in the first and last lines when the fisherman’s view of the fish changes dramatically from start to finish. The tone changes three different times throughout the poem becoming more about the fisherman then the fish. In the poem, “The Fish,” the speaker and the author share the same voice, the reader can visualize the author having this opinion about catching a fish and letting it go to live another day. One of the elements that is used in the poem, “The Fish”, is imagery. The author uses imagery throughout the poem to describe how the fisherman sees the fish. Bishop uses unconventional adjectives to describe the fish, she uses words that would describe a human not a fish, like in the beginning when the fisherman hooked the fish he describes the way the fish hangs off the hook, “He hung a grunting weight, battered and venerable and homely”(lines 7-9). Another example of imagery is when Bishop describes how the fish looks but uses words to portray the beauty of the fish instead of the usual grotesque words one would use to describe a fish hanging from a hook. It is clear that an admiration for the fish is developing in lines 1-17,. “He was speckled with barnacles, f... ... middle of paper ... ...fisherman, “I stared and stared and victory filled up the little rented boat”(lines 64-67), in these lines it becomes about how the fisherman is feeling and not the fish. The fisherman feels joy and feels triumph when letting the fish go because he has allowed the fish to live another day, which is also ironic. Irony is another important element in this poem. In the first line the fisherman feels triumph by catching such a prize fish, “I caught a tremendous fish”(1), but in the very last line the fisherman feels triumph because he lets the fish go, “And I let the fish go”(75). The fisherman’s view of the fish changes dramatically as the poem progresses. When the fisherman starts to observe the fish in a new way and sees beauty in the fish’s appearance and the struggles he has had throughout his life respect and admiration overwhelm the fisherman.
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