Elizabeth Bishops poem “The Fish” uses tone, metaphor, and irony Bishop uses tone Bishop’s poem begins with a tone of coldness, as if the speaker is saying, “I caught a fish. No big deal.” The lines are short and clipped. Later, as the speaker gradually becomes more descriptive, the tone shifts to accommodate longer, more specific words and looser, more attractive lines. The speaker’s language becomes more descriptive as the poem progresses and her tone less separated. Her free use of strong adjectives like terrible and frightening contributes to the reader’s awareness of this shift. The shift in tone occurs when the speaker looks into the fish’s eyes and observes the hooks in its mouth end in this almost overjoyed revelation of beauty. Bishops reuse of “rainbow” and the exclamation point that follows underline the speaker’s joy and points out the extent of her transformation. The speaker’s primary goal in describing the fish is accuracy; when she describes how the fish’s eyes shift,
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course ENGLISH 102 taught by Professor Trent during the Fall '08 term at University of Tennessee.