Sample Essay – The Fish Imagery Explanation

Through imagery, the poet’s passion for the fish is further displayed when she describes the fish as wise and has a “five-haired beard of wisdom trailing behind his aching jaw” (63-64), thereby commanding respect. Though, commonly, it is mostly human beings who have wisdom, the fish, too, has wisdom, revealing the poet’s good perception of the fish.

The Fish Imagery Explanation

As the poem ends, Bishop compares her boat, which she has rented that has leaking oil and a rusted engine and could not be compared with the beauty of nature as portrayed by the fish.

It is the Bishop’s compassion for the fish that she releases it into the water. It is imperative to note that, at the beginning of the poem, the fish is displayed to be cold and can be compared to the boat’s standards. However, as the poem gains momentum, the poet comes to understand the beauty of the fish, sympathizes with its condition, and glorifies the fish.

It is, therefore, very true to argue that Elizabeth Bishop shows the theme of compassion through imagery. This is shown in her tone and words, which show her compassion for the fish.

She is not contended with some of the harsh treatment the fish has to undergo in the hands of the man and as she puts it, fish meat is sweet and therefore, fish should be treated with kindness. The kind of treatment she advocates for is what evidences the theme of compassion in her poem. She does not feel happy at all when she sees the fish get ill treatment from man and even hears the harsh words man uses to refer to it.

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