The Use of Symbolism in The Fish, a Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 301 |

Page: 1|

2 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

Words: 301|Page: 1|2 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

In the poem, the Elizabeth Bishop highlights in many ways the beauty that poems exhibit in literature. The poet uses different styles to bring out her message. The main idea is that the poet goes out to catch a fish and in the end lets the fish go. It is an unexpected end holding the fact that the poet talks about fishing in a passionate way at the beginning of the poem. The poem carries much symbolism that can relate to our lives today. It can be used to depict how in our simple lives we carry ambitions that drive us to doing what we think will bring us satisfaction and success as individuals. This clearly illustrates the expectation versus the outcome aspect of symbolism that the poem passes (Bishop 755).

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Another aspect that the poet uses to illustrate the symbolism in the poem is the colors she uses to notice the beauty of the fish. In a progression, she describes the fish using brighter colors until to the end where she lets it go. She describes the fish at first as being brown, then green, then pink and later uses the rainbow. The poet depicts symbolism with the change in color she uses in describing the fish correlating with her change in attitude towards the fish. Additionally, there are lines in the poems that highlight how the poet eventually starts to respect the fish after catching it. This in the end turns out to be the main reason that she lets it go. One such instance can be seen in line 45 “I admired his sullen face.” This clearly shows the respect and high regard that the poet developed for the fish after staring at it for some time and noticing the beauty of the fish she had caught (Bishop 756).

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The Use of Symbolism in The Fish, a Poem by Elizabeth Bishop. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“The Use of Symbolism in The Fish, a Poem by Elizabeth Bishop.” GradesFixer, 02 Oct. 2018,
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