Last Updated 02 Apr 2020

The Two Fishermen

Essay type Research
Words 874 (3 pages)
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1. For what newspaper does Michael Foster work for? (1-2) Michael Foster works for the town paper, the Examiner. He is a reporter. 2. Why did Michael not want to be seen with Smitty? (3-4) Michael didn’t want to be seen with Smitty because Smitty is a hangman. Every hangman is hated because people think that he is cruel and because he kills prisoners who are friends or parents with people in the town. If Michael is seen to be friend with Smitty, he would have a bad reputation and people of his town would hate him because he is supporting someone that all the others hated.

It won’t only affect his life, but also his work, because no one will collaborate with him anymore and he could never become a reporter for city paper as he always wished. 3. Explain the final scene of the story? (5-6) The story finished with Smitty giving two big fish folded in a newspaper to Michael in front of everyone in the jail. But Michael let the other fisherman take the fish and through it at Smitty. First, the fish in this situation symbolize the friendship between Michael and the hangman and the newspaper represents the society, the people how hated, ridicule and criticize Smitty.

When Smitty give Michael the newspaper folded fish, he is offering Michael to become his friend, and saying that Michael will need to deny other people’s judgments about him to become his friend, just like he needs to unwrap the newspaper to see the fish. The reporter, by accepting it, is accepting the friendship and the condition. Then, Michael let the other fisherman take his fish and through it at Smitty. By doing it, the young reporter is letting others to break the friendship between him and the hangman.

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He rejected the friendship and betrayed the hangman. In other words, he could unwrap the newspaper that folded the fish. After, when Smitty saw the fish, he could hardly believe it. Michael run off shamefully. Morley Callaghan, at the final scene, showed two conflicts. The first one is man versus society. This one is very evident. We can see clearly Smitty facing the whole society that criticizes, hates him. The second one is man versus himself. The man is Michael. He has to choose between Smitty and the rest of the society.

He had the opportunity to explore the true personality of the hangman unlike other people and he knows that he is a really good guy. Even though he knows that there’s no reason Smitty should be hated, he still doesn’t want to be seen with him. We could see clearly his inner conflict when Morley wrote, “«it’s different now, it’s different, » he kept thinking, as he held the fish in the newspaper tight under his arm. ” Michael, at that moment, was questioning himself if he should help Smitty but risk his own reputation.

At the end, “the expression on Smitty’s face as he saw the fish on the road made Michael hot with shame and he tried to get out of the crowd. ” This shows that Michael is sorry for the hangman, but he couldn’t “get rid of the newspaper” The author, though the story showed us how a person can be betrayed even though he is a good friend and kind and moral person. 4. Explore the importance of the fish? (7-8) The fish in the short story “The Two Fishermen” is a very important symbol, a symbol of friendship.

Smitty gives Michael a fish to show that he valued the time they spent together and that he was enjoying Michael and the company. It is a sign of their friendship. But Morley Callaghan, the author, added some detail to the simple fish. She gets it wrapped with newspaper. She gave the newspaper importance by repeating it various times, “[…] two good-sized salmon-bellied lake trout, folded in a newspaper”; “[…] he was carrying the fish, folded in the newspaper. ” And “he held the fish in the newspaper. The use of newspaper means that Michael would be able to become real friend with Smitty only if he denies all the critics from other people and deny what the rest of the society thinks, like he would need to unwrap the fish from the newspaper to really see the fish. So, when Michael accepts the fish in front of everyone, he accepts the condition and the friendship, because if he doesn’t want to be friend, he could not take the fish and do like if he doesn’t know the hangman. Then, when he lets the other fisherman to through the fish at Smitty, he lets him at the same time break the friendship.

Somehow, he betrayed Smitty and lets the newspaper to separate him and the fish forever. The fish is also a Christian symbol. It is a secret code used and only recognized by Christians to connect with each other without revealing themselves to the oppressors. This could also be linked to the Two Fishermen because their friendship is something secret. Their meeting is something secret too. Only they know why Smitty offers a fish instead of something else. In brief, the author used the fish as a very important symbol in this short story.

The Two Fishermen essay

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The Two Fishermen. (2018, Feb 20). Retrieved from

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