Where the Warmth Meets the Cold: An Analysis of Big Fish

Essay by smqrcoxHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2014

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English 30-1

January 4, 2012



A "seam" is literally that place where two things connect and come together. In the context of Sanford Lynne's short poem "The Gold Pavilion", the speaker expresses his love for the figurative seam between his imagination and the real world, a place where "warmth meets cold". Comment by SysAdmin: A definition can be an effective lead to introduce and argument. Here I am using Lynne's poetic definition as a springboard for my eventual thesis.

It's a beautiful image, and an effective means of communicating the importance of balancing these two aspects of the human experience. Lynne implies that a person capable of tempering his objective reality with a healthy dose of imagination and fancy will feel satisfied and fulfilled. Yet I think William Bloom, the disillusioned son of an eccentric and larger-than-life father figure in Tim Burton's Big Fish, would have difficulty swallowing Lynne's message-at least until the moment of his father's death.

Will lives in the world of factual and objective truth (perhaps a symptom of working for a newspaper wire service). He cannot see through his father's elaborate mythologies, which involve everything from gigantic fish to Siamese twins, giants, and witches and werewolves, and thus he rejects Edward's stories as lies. In fact Will feels contempt for his father's imaginative tales, and craves "the truth": the cold and hard facts of Edward's life. And yet it is not until Will can comprehend the truth beneath the surface of his father's tall tales-and the validity of the human imagination-that he can discover the love of his father. Comment by SysAdmin: Note the use of the "active voice"; rather than writing "The message that Lynne implies is…"...