Analysis of the Filling Station

Topics: Stanza, Metropolitana di Napoli, Madrid Metro Pages: 3 (930 words) Published: August 26, 2014
How the Filling Station changes the speaker’s personality The poem filling station by Elizabeth Bishop is unique in which the speaker’s personality changes as we go along the poem. The manner in which the speaker initially views the filling station with disgust is clearly shown in the opening stanza of the poem. However, this changes as we go along the poem. The speaker becomes less judgmental and more objective. She initially finds only disorder in the filling station; however, as we go along the poem, she realizes that the order outweighs the disorder. Hence, I will show how the personality of the speaker changes as the poem progresses, and how his viewpoint about the filling station changes from disorder to order. The first line of the poem reads, ‘Oh, but it is dirty!’ This is a very strong opening to the poem as it indicates the speaker’s viewpoint about the filling station, which is that of disgust and pity. Presumably, the speaker’s background is from a wealthy family, which is why she looks so low towards the dirty filling station. Therefore, we can conclude from only the first line that the speaker has an arrogant attitude. Furthermore, an exclamation mark is used to emphasize her viewpoint. In the second line of the poem, the speaker uses the word “little” to describe the filling station. This indicates arrogance, as she considers the filling station as something insignificant. In the third line, the word ‘oil’ is used twice; in “oil-soaked” and “oil-permeated”. The speaker finds the oil to be very nasty and disturbing, as demonstrated in line 4. Thus, the overall tone of stanza one is condescending. In stanza 2, the speaker starts to describe the people living in the filling station. Again, she used the word “dirty” and “oil-soaked” to describe the appearance of the ‘father’, possibly the owner of the filling station. Afterwards, the speaker encounters the sons, and describes them as being greasy, as seen in “and greasy sons assist him”. Greasy is...
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