The Fish

Oppression And Opportunity: The Fish College

In our modern American society, oppression is something that still exists and has been detrimental to people, hurting their lives. The process of fishing can symbolize how regular people fair versus the clutches of oppression they cannot control. For a lot of people, opportunity can be very scarce. Through Bishop’s depiction of fishing, she uses powerful visual and kinesthetic imagery, creative metaphors, and long stanzas to show clutches of oppression. Bishop also manipulates the diction of words to make the fish seem beautiful, but it is not. Throughout this poem, Elizabeth Bishop uses extreme imagery about how fishing works. With this imagery, we can get a good idea of what oppression can do to the regular person in society.

When there is oppression, and lack of opportunity in someone’s life, it can be crippling and cause hopelessness. Hopelessness can be a metaphor for what happens when a hook becomes fastened into a fish’s mouth. “He didn’t fight/He hadn’t fought at all. /He hung a grunting weight/battered and vulnerable/and homely” (Bishop, 767). When a fish has been hooked, there is very little chance of escape. If the fish attempts to escape from the hook, the pain is extreme, and the chance of escaping the hook...

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