Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop: Poem Analysis

Topics: Poetry, Emotion, Literature Pages: 2 (526 words) Published: May 3, 2005
In poetry many elements are used to bring life to a literary work. Some of these include style, structure, imagery, diction, and allusion. In Elizabeth Bishop's poem, Filling Station, the author uses them skillfully to create meaning in a story that otherwise would be banal. Her usage of expressive details supports the writing which helps the reader to imagine what the author is describing. Her style also appeals to the readers emotions and imagination to draw them into her harsh reality.

One of the elements that she uses to engage the reader is through the use of diction. In the first verse, the author opens by describing the setting as dirty. She further supports this in lines 3 - 5 by stating that the station is "oil-soaked", "oil-permeated", "over-all black translucency". These compound phrases gives the reader a clear image of the unpleasant environment that the author is portraying to the reader. In the second verse, the author introduces the father, a character who embodies his surrounding environment. Dressed in what the author describes as "a dirty, oil-soaked monkey suit" which does not even fit the character's stature, the reader can infer that the family is living under poor conditions. This is further confirmed when the author describes the son's appearance as "greasy" and "throughly dirty".

In the next verse, the author moves away from the disgusting scene of the gas station and uses vivid imagery to allow the reader into her thought. She begins to ask questions and imagines /impregnated wickerwork/ /on the wicker sofa/ /a dirty dog, quite comfy./. On those few lines, not only does the author give sight of the scene but also appeals to the reader's sense of touch by the words "quite comfy.". Those two simple words allows the reader to have an unique sense of how "quite comfy" may feel like. She continues in lines 21 - 27 with more imaginative words describing some of the items that she is imagining may be in the station. The items and...
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