Fish symbolism, which is mythologically linked with fertility gods in many instances, changes with man's changing concept of himself and his relationship to the universe. Christians, who perceive their God as asexual, have divided fish symbolism into two mutually exclusive categories: religious symbolism, which deals solely with things divine, and secular symbolism, which deals solely with things sexual. This division survives until well into the twentieth century. An examination of various poets from the last hundred years shows a trend to focus on images traditionally associated with God in order to show divine and religious failure in dealing with the world ecologically and socially. Though sexual fish imagery exists, it tends in interpretive poetry to have translated itself into general social relations. Fish imagery as it now exists is an amalgamation of all previous forms. It is most frequently used to promote ecological balance and social justice in the interests of a united world.
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Symbolism in literature; Fishes -- Religious aspects; Fishes -- Mythology
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Wachter, Sharon R., "The Evolution of the Literary Fish" (1987). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 736.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives