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Independent Study Unit
God Is Not A Fish Inspector
God Is not a Fish Inspector
Point of View
The point of view of this story is third person limited omniscient. In the story the author does not reveal to the reader what the character is thinking or feeling as often as someone would when writing an omniscient piece. Also, the narrator in the story seems to be another person outside of the story who is looking in on the situation. The narrator can go anywhere within the story, however they cannot see into the minds of the characters or comment on certain things in the story.Example from text:As he took the pot from the stove, she asked, "No trouble with the inspectors?'Emma stood there, not moving, her head tipped back, her eyes benevolent.
“God is Not A Fish Inspector” is about a 70 year old man named Fusi, who loves to fish. He wakes up at 3 in the morning so that he can go out and fish illegally before the fish inspectors get up so that he doesn’t get caught. His daughter, Emma, is not happy with her father acting younger than he actually is so she always tries to make him feel guilty about fishing illegally. Eventually, Emma goes and talks to the fish inspectors about her father’s illegal fishing. The inspectors told her that they didn’t care because he can’t do much harm with only one net. Emma then approached Fusi and told him that the fish inspectors had known that he was fishing illegally for all these years. Fusi became very upset because the only thing that kept him motivated to live was the thrill of fishing illegally. He is now just another old person who had given up hope.
This story takes place in a lake side community in Manitoba, at Fusi Bergman’s house and on the lake very early in the morning. The setting is very important to this story, but doesn’t describe the characters feelings as much as other short stories we have read. The setting is important though, because of the fact that the story obviously has to do with Fusi illegally fishing on the lake, but the setting also helps describe the way he feels. There is a retirement home nearby and Fusi describes how he feels about growing old and losing his dignity saying things like “someone watching over you every minute of every day. It was as if, having earned the right to be an adult, you had suddenly, in some inexplicable way, lost it again."
There are parts of the setting that describe how the characters feel like when he steps outside early in the morning and the weather is described as “cold and damp. The moon that hung low in the west was pale and fragile and very small.” By saying how fragile and very small the moon is, it sets the mood for Fusi heading out onto the water. He is very vulnerable when he’s out there, the fish inspectors could spot him at any second, so he is very fragile.
What thematic statement does this story seem to tell the reader?
The theme of this story seems to be, you have no right to take away a person’s dignity if no harm is being done by their decisions. In this story Fusi, a 70 year old man who loves to fish and so he does so by going out early in the morning before anyone is awake, including the fish inspectors. He has never been caught by these fish inspectors and things would remain that way if his daughter had never approached the fish inspectors and told them that he was fishing illegally. When she had told them they said to Fusi that they had always known that he was fishing illegally, but that they never really cared about it at all. To Fusi, this somewhat took away a part of his life, because what he was living for was taken away from him by his own daughter. Fusi always thought that he was different from all of the other old people and what made him different from these people was that he could fish, and even better he could fish without anyone knowing. Now however everyone knows what he is up to and he no longer feels motivated to continue doing what he had loved to do in the past. Fusi’s very own daughter took away his dignity, just because she wanted him to act the same way that every other old person acted. Fusi never wanted to think that he was old, but now it is very difficult for him to think that when his very own daughter is telling him to act like the old person he is.
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