The Analysis of an Extract of “The Fisherman and His Soul” by Oscar Wilde
“The Fisherman and His Soul” is a fairytale written by Oscar Wilde and published in 1888. Written in Biblical dictation it tells a story of a Fisherman who falls in love in a Mermaid, but he is given a choice: soul or his love. The Fisherman chooses the latter. As a proper fairytale, it joins two worlds together: real and fantasy world and conveys the massage of overpowering and ever-sacrificing love. Oscar Wilde shows the reader that everyone makes mistakes and, learning from them, will help to redeem oneself and be better. The story also reveals the attitude of Christianity towards the phenomena that is considered to be controversial- sacrificing one’s soul for love. The story is written in the third- person omniscient narrative, because the narrator knows many details, feelings and also senses of the characters, for instance, Priest’s: “he was desiring to speak to them of the wrath of God”; “odour was sweet in his nostrils”. The narrator also knows that Priest trembled and prayed when he found out from where the flowers were taken. As it is a third-person narrative, such pronouns as he, him are used. There are many religious words that belong to the semantic field of religion, for instance, altar, Priest, deacon, tabernacle, wafer that emphasizes the role of God in this fairytale. The presence of God and His forgiving nature reminds the reader of the most important thing in life –love. The return of Fisherman’s and Mermaid’s love teaches that one has to understand such a phenomenon, before judging it. Almighty God forgives all who truly repent. “Field of Fullers” is a Biblical allusion- a spot near Jerusalem where the fullers pursued their occupation, highlighting the role and importance of religion in the story. Numerous stylistic devices are used in this extract. Epithets sweet herbs and curious beauty emphasizes the admiration of these things and that they are somehow divine and...
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