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The Two Fishermen
Transcript of The Two Fishermen
The importance of this setting is that most of the conversation and character development takes place out on the lake during a fishing trip. This leads to the execution witch takes place at the jail in the very same town.
This story takes place in the 1910-1930s, we can presume this because
No mention of planes, computers, or cellphones
They hang people as the death sentence not electrocute
They have a death sentence, this is still a thing but it is very uncommon
They use white dusty gravel on their roads. White gravel is a very old type of gravel that contained lead, hence why it's use was halted and we now use a more human friendly variety. White gravel was also used in the late 1800 through early 1900's, usually it was found most commonly near lead mines, this town might also have a mine too.
This story was written in 1934, first published in Esquire Magazine Feb 1934 Print Atmosphere The atmosphere at the beginning of this story is very neutral as nothing unusual is going on just a small caravan of people for the hanging the next day and the town's good reporter is trying to get the full scoop from the hotels manager about the people who are arriving and not much happens in this scene.
The first major change in atmosphere come when we are first introduced to Smitty, a small timid young man. In this scene of the story the atmosphere becomes almost friendly, but there is a very thin veil of stress as they both try very hard to not make things awkward on the boat when no fish are biting.
The last scene takes part at the hanging. This scene has an atmosphere of rage and betrayal. This is where we find out Michael skipped on Smitty for the second fishing trip, and that Smitty, with some luck, actually caught some fish. He gives two of the fish to Michael only to have them thrown back at him in the dust later in the riot. Moral & Theme Moral : The moral of the story is to stand up for your friends and not let people bully them or harm them. If you don’t stand up for them you are as bad as the bullies.
Who doesn’t do anything when the mob starts throwing things: The Sheriff, two guards, Michael (the reporter)
Theme : It can be hard to separate who you are from the work you do.
Evidence: People dislike Smitty because he killed Tom Delaney, even though that’s just his job. But when Michael goes fishing with him, he finds that Smitty is a kind, neighborly person.He is a hangman, (powerful) yet he is a small, introverted person. People didn’t like him because he hanged people, although it was just his job Plot Graph Character Analysis:
Smitty (K.Smith) Smitty is very timid and shy. He often does things on his own, rather then with someone else, even though it is fairly clear that he wants and would like some company when doing activities. He does things alone however, because, while he would LIKE to meet new people, he is too shy. There is evidence for this in the story when he meets Michael. When Michael introduces himself to Smitty, Smitty is nervous and acts shy.
Smitty is also easily influenced by other people's opinions of him. He isn't Influenced in the way that he can be persuaded to do things, but in the way that he will really take things other people say about him to heart. In the story, at the end where people are insulting him and throwing things at him, he feels really bad about himself and what he did, even though he really didn't do anything wrong at all. The citizens at the hanging were pretty much blaming him for Delany's death, and despite it not being his fault, it seemed like he started blaming himself for the hanging as well. Conflicts This story is interesting in the way that it doesn't really have any real conflicts. It might seem like there would be a conflict between Smitty and the people throwing things at him and sort of rioting, but there are actually no two forces in opposition. The people throwing things are actually just angry at Delany's death, and taking out their anger on him, without any real "conflict". The closest thing to a conflict in the story is Delany's siblings and the police, with the siblings wanting Delany to be released and the Police "wanting" to hang him, which, despite the hanging being such a major part of the story, is not really detailed or important to the plot, other than that conflict being the reason people are outside jail. Exposition Symbolism There are not very many examples of symbolism in the story, but there is one fairly major example: The fish.
The two fish that Smitty gave to Michael represent Smitty's trust in him. Smitty has not really been able to trust many people before Michael, partially due to him being shy, as well as all the stigma behind hangmen. Smitty giving Michael the fish represented him getting Smitty's trust and friendship - Smitty trusting Michael to not let him down, to not judge him for his job like others did, to understand him. When the fish were thrown at Smitty, he lost his faith and trust in Michael. Smitty was already very reserved andcareful about trusting people because most of them judged him, so when the fish were thrown back at him it was detrimental to Smitty. Initial incident Climax Falling action GLUB GLUB Point of View The narrative point of view in this story is third person limited. The narrator is presumed to be Michael Foster the main character of this story.
The evidence to support this is that the narrator speaks in "He" or "Him" not "I" or "me". More summary Smitty asked if he'd come fishing with him early the next morning, and Michael said he might. Michael brought the boat up to the dock and let Smitty off and said goodbye. Slowly and secretly, Michael actually pulled the boat around the back of the pier, because he secretly did not want to be seen with the hangman.
The next day, Thomas Delaney was hanged.
Delaney, being fairly well known, had quite a gathering of his many friends and siblings outside the jail courtyard, all very angry at his execution. Michael couldn't make it fishing with him in the morning, so Smitty brought him some large fish he had caught and gave them to Michael, after the execution. Michael was sort of in shock after the hanging, and he just walked out onto the street, carrying the fish. He walked through the crowed that had gathered around for hanging. Michael stood alone in the crowed for a while, before the sheriff, Smitty and two body guards exited the building where Delany was hanged. They all walked to a car on the other end of the street to leave, but people in the crowed started taking rocks and other objects and throwing them towards the officials. When they got to the car, the sheriff and the two body guards quickly got in and pulled away, apparently not noticing that the hangman was not in the car. Smitty just stood there, being pelted, while the crowed went into a frenzy of anger, throwing everything they had at him. Smitty started looking around for someone, someone to comfort him and help him, specifically Michael, who was at the time, backing deeper and deeper into the crowd, ashamed. A large man in the crowed, in a frenzy, kept screaming at Michael to throw the fish, while Michael refused. The large man grabbed the fish, and tossed them, landing just in front of Smitty. Seeing the fish, Smitty became completely despaired, thinking even one of his only friends hated him, hated everything that he was. The car then came back and somebody pulled him in, and the story ends there. Situational Irony You expect the hangman to be a large, scary person, when he turns out to be a small, shy, introverted person.