I. Conclusion Though the true inspiration behind Bishop’s works may not be explicitly known to the world, many of the themes and messages of her works can be traced back to her troubled relationship with her mother. The themes of resentment, identity and being overwhelmed which were made significant through the use of nature, are ever present within her work of prose, In the Village and continue to recur in her poems, echoing a lasting scar of her childhood that Bishop carries in life and shares implicitly within her works. The poem At the Fishhouses highlights Bishop’s resentment and distancing from her mother. Her use of the sea displays Bishop’s uneasiness when faced with the ingrained though of her mother’s overwhelming identity. This poem draws parallels between the identity of the sea and the fire present in her work of prose as a scalding reminder of her mother’s effect on her life. Drawing from the properties of the seashore’s surroundings, Bishop uses nature as a device to exhibit her perception of her mother. In A Cold Spring , the transient disposition of seasons is used to represent the limited capacity of a mother’s love, aiming to justify Bishop’s hesitance towards accepting her mother’s fate and inability to parent. Bishop’s continuous shift between positive and negative attributes of the spring were used to display doubt and ambivalence. However, this reluctance was overcome and communicate through Bishop’s use of a fish in, The
gcw721 16 Fish , to show a maturation in Bishop’s view of her mother and herself. The fish, which Bishop once viewed as a weak victim, evolved into a wise hero to in her eyes. In such a way, we can see how nature is used as a metaphor and is a personification of significant figures in Bishop’s life. Bishop’s use of nature can be deeply interpreted to reflect her changing outlook on her mother and her childhood. II.
gcw721 17 Works Cited Bishop, Elizabeth. “A Cold Spring (1955)” Poems, edited by Saskia Hamilton, Apple Books, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011, pp. 120-142. Bishop, Elizabeth. “In the Village” Prose . Edited by Lloyd Schwartz, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011, pp. 62-78, The New York Times , graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/books/excerpt- prose-elizabeth-bishop.pdf. Bishop, Elizabeth. “North & South (1946)” Poems, edited by Saskia Hamilton, Apple Books, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011, pp. 100-106. Chodorow, Nancy. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender . University of California Press, 1978, toleratedindividuality.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-reproduction-of-mothering.pdf. Fast, Robin Riley. “A Daughter's Response: Elizabeth Bishop and Nature.” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association , vol. 21, no. 2, 1988, pp. 16–33., doi:10.2307/1315364. Flexner, Stuart Berg. "Homely” New Oxford American Dictionary , 2 Septemeber, 2010.
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