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Copy of What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?
Transcript of Copy of What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?
The bestselling, Iraeli author reaches out to many different ethnicities by publishing his work in multiple languages to have a global audience.
BY: Griffin Bradley, Stephanie Bartlett, Daniel Ruegamer
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
This essay portrayed a certain purpose being that not everyone is content with their lives and that they hold on to different things for happiness, (even if it is a fish that you can talk to just to keep some company).
The author’s worldly audience provides for less cultural references and ideas in the piece. The story does take place in the Middle East but none of the customs, culture, or other ideas pertaining to that area are incorporated into the piece. This is to appeal to the variety of people and cultures that the author is writing to.
Culture & Context.
The piece was written by an Israeli author, who was born in Ramat Gan, Israel. This essay naturally has cultural influences throughout the story because of how he grew up. The biggest influence being that the story takes place in and around the area in which he was born. Authors have a natural affinity to write about places they know about and are most familiar with.
Language & Meaning.
The author emphasizes his purpose by incorporating a seemingly normal story which continues throughout the piece. But by showing that the story is, in reality, rather abstract it brings the reader into a realization and understanding of what point the author is trying to get across.
The culture and context doesn’t affect the language too much besides the use of names, places, and other proper nouns in the piece. The meaning of the whole essay is affected. The area in which the story takes place is known as being generally less fortunate than other parts of the world, but despite this, the wishes that were emphasized and highlighted. Examples like "peace", or "for all of the Nazis left living in the world to be held accountable for their crimes" are shown as a nonmaterialistic wish. Sergei does not wish for anything for himself specifically from the fish, however he most likely still gets his wish. He wanted to not be alone, and by having this fish he got just that. It is this paradox that "the less we have, the less we want" is what is truly being shown here.
The sentence "There was a cocky, broad-shouldered lady-killer who put out his cigarette..." showed the language used in today's world because of the slang. "Cocky, broad-shouldered lady-killer" means a large, arrogant man who is found attractive to many women. The diction is pretty basic, so all can understand the topic and conflict. There aren't many, if any, words that would not be recognized by people from different cultures. Also, the asyndeton throughout the essay shows the type of language Keret used. "Different dreams, different wishes, one bank." Keret uses this figurative language to express the importance of the three words; dreams, wishes, and bank.
A young boy in Israel, Yonatan, decides to make a documentary asking random people if they were to obtain a magic goldfish that gave them three wishes, what would they wish for? The boy comes across a Russian man, Sergei, who doesn't speak Hebrew very clearly, nor understands it very well. After the Israeli boy enters the Sergei's house, he sees that the man has a goldfish and gets excited. To protect his magic fish, Sergei hits Yonatan, accidentally killing him. This leaves Sergei to decide if he would like to spend his last wish on saving this boy's life, or keeping the wish, or the fish itself, for his own personal reasons.
What do you think the goldfish symbolizes?
What do you think Sergei would have wished for?
What would you wish for?
Any other thoughts?
Do you think Sergei kept the fish or made his wish?