Patricia King “Christopher, the Fisherman”: Literary Analysis “Christopher, the Fisherman” was written by Hermann Schubnell and translated by his son, Matthias Schubnell. This short story is about a fisherman who wont let the past go and continued to deny the many changes that were occurring around him. Throughout the story, Christopher passionately fights the numerous changes that take place around him. Ultimately he comes to a place in his life where he can no longer fight for the old life and he must accept the changes.
Schubnell uses symbolism, imagery, and conflict throughout the short story to portray Christopher’s struggle and strife. Symbolism is the use of objects in a story to have a second meaning other than a literal meaning. The river in this short story is a great example of symbolism. The river runs through the world without any changes for many years. The river changes its path for no one just as Christopher the fisherman does. Christopher is stubborn and hard to move, and does not like change. Throughout the short story Christopher, the fisherman is constantly fighting the changes.
Like a river, Christopher is not willing to just simply change his course for something new in his environment. The river also represents consistency. Throughout the story the reader learns that the fisherman’s life has been consistent so far, without any change. At times, a river has to change its course and consistency when something new is added to its path. For example, a river may be running perfectly smoothly for many years, but when man may add a dam into the river’s path, the river is forced to change its ways.
Just as a river is forced to change its path when a dam is added, Christopher was forced to change his ways to the new ideas brought before him. Imagery, is also used a lot in many stories including “Christopher, the Fisherman”. Imagery is very descriptive words that an author uses to help “paint a picture” in the reader’s mind. By “painting this picture” the reader is more likely able to relate and visualize the story portrayed. Authors can easily let the reader visualize the story by simply adding adjectives and more descriptive words.
Imagery is used in “Christopher, the Fisherman” when the author uses different seasons of the year. For example, “In the spring, when the river’s flow had calmed, Christopher readied his boat for a long journey. ” (Schubnell 6) lets the reader know that in the spring the river is calm and relaxing, and perfect for a great journey. The river in the season of spring, as told to the reader, is a very calm and easy flowing. Simply from this example the reader can imagine that it is spring and that there is a calm and peaceful river flowing. Conflict is another thing that that Schubnell uses in “Christopher, the Fisherman”.
In any story there must be a conflict. Conflict is the problem in the story that the main character must overcome. Every good story has some kind of conflict and resolution, what solves the problem. In Schubnell’s short story, “Christopher, the Fisherman”, the conflict is the fisherman’s stubbornness to change. Christopher is conflicted with the “need to change” his ways throughout the story. The reader can clearly see that Christopher does not want to give up his old ways and learn the many new ways that the world has presented him, but as stated earlier, every conflict has a solution.
Eventually the Christopher, the fisherman, gives in and gives up his old ways and learns how to adapt and learn new and better skills. In conclusion, there are literary elements in every story, many of which were not stated. In Schubnell’s short story “Christopher, the Fisherman,” the author clearly uses symbolism, imagery, and conflict. The use of symbolism allows an author to tell a story by giving different objects another meaning. Symbolism makes the reader think throughout the story and stimulates his/her thought. use way that the reader can understand and relate to it.
Without these elements stories would be dull and lifeless. With them, the reader can see a whole new world just through reading. Imagery allows the reader to have a creative outlook and see the story as “painted” by the author. Conflict allows the story to progress and to have a resolution. Without conflict there is no story. Without these elements stories would be dull and lifeless; with them the reader can see a whole new world. Work Cited Schubnell, Hermann. “Christopher, the Fisherman. ” Matthias Schubnell. Tans. 7 November 2011. Print.