In the short story “God is Not a Fish Inspector” by W. D. Valgardson, the narrator tells the story of his childhood friend, Jimmy, and how Jimmy’s life was changed after he began to believe that God was inspecting his every move. As a result of this belief, Jimmy became paranoid and developed a fear of God that led him to live a life of isolation. The narrator describesJimmy as “a good man who had gone wrong,” and it is clear thatJimmy’s faith in God did more harm than good.
This story raises the question of what role God should play in our lives. Should we be living in fear of God, or should we be using our faith as a source of strength? The narrator seems to suggest that God should be a source of comfort, not fear, and that we should only turn to Him when we need guidance. What do you think? Is God someone to be feared or respected? Let us know in the comments below.
In God Is Not a Fish Inspector by W. D. Valgardson, Fusi Bergman is an old man who has a youthful heart and fights to accept his failure to fish well because of his weak body. As a result of the disputes that torment him, Fusi gives in to his unavoidable destiny and loses the one thing that distinguishes him from other people he knew before. Fusi’s ultimate downfall is attributed to deterioration of his body, opposition against the long-established home, and an unfavorable relationship with his daughter.
In the past, Fusi was a skilled fisherman; he could catch as many fish as he wanted. However, his body has now weakened to the point where he can barely catch any fish. This physical decline is representative of Fusi’s general deterioration. He is no longer the strong and confident man he once was. Fusi also experiences conflict with the old folk’s home. The home represents everything that Fusi despises: conformity and a lack of freedom. As soon as Fusi is admitted into the home, he immediately starts to plan his escape.
However, his efforts are in vain; the home’s grip on him is too strong. Lastly, Fusi has an adverse relationship with his daughter. Their relationship is marked by tension and distance. Fusi feels that his daughter does not understand him, and as a result, he pushes her away. This furthers the estrangement between them, and ultimately leads to Fusi’s downfall.
When he is far out at sea, Fusi thinks back to his younger years. He used to be able to bring in “five to six gangs of nets,” but now “one net is nearly beyond him.” (pg. 47) Although others are “amazed by his condition,” Fusi acknowledges the modifications that have occurred inside his body and refers to them as “this subtle deterioration that was gradually reducing the limits of his endurance. ” (pg. 47) It appears that Fusi wishes to be a role model for the elderly and show that age is only a number.
Fusi’s interactions with God are representative of how he feels about his current situation. In the beginning, Fusi is content with God and His work as a Fish Inspector. He sees God as “a fair man” who “gives everyone a good chance,” including himself. (pg. 48) Throughout the story, however, Fusi begins to doubt God and His intentions. He questions why God would put him in a position where he is no longer able to fish, something he has done his entire life. Furthermore, he wonders why God would make him live to see his friends and family die while he is still alive.
At the end of the story, Fusi has a change of heart and decides to forgive God. He realizes that God is not to blame for the changes that have taken place in his life, but rather, it is a part of the natural process of aging. Fusi’s decision to forgive God represents his acceptance of his current situation and his understanding that God is not responsible for the hand he has been dealt in life.
Fusi’s desire to live is fueled by fishing, but his age restricts his capabilities. This puts Fusi in a position of fighting with himself. Following that, Fusi’s resistance to the old people’s home allows fear to enter the picture. The old people’s home is compared by Fusi to a jail, where “someone is watching you every minute of the day.”
The tenants at the old folk’s home are individuals Fusi had previously known. “They all appeared to be interchangeable,” as time erased their identities. (pg. 48) This implies that living in a facility for the elderly is equivalent to losing one’s adult status.
In the end, Fusi’s final thoughts before he dies convey that he had achieved his goal of fishing once again. God is not a Fish Inspector by W. D. Valgardson is a short story about an old man named Fusi and his love for fishing.
Fusi lives in a small town in Iceland where everyone knows each other. Fusi is a widower and doesn’t have any children. His wife, Steinunn, died young from cancer. After her death, “Fusi stopped attending church, stopped believing in God. ” (pg. 47) This event caused him to lose his will to live. However, Fusi regained his motivation to live through fishing.
Fusi’s age begins to put a limit on his fishing abilities, which forces him to confront his fear of death. He knows that he won’t be able to fish forever and this terrifies him. Fusi describes the fear of death as “an illness that eats away at you until there’s nothing left. ” (pg. 47) This leaves Fusi in a difficult position where he must choose between living in fear or accepting death.
In conclusion, Fusi Bergman’s struggles against his body, the old folk’s home, and his daughter lead to his defeat. His decline in physical strength, his inability to escape the home, and the estrangement from his daughter all contribute to his downfall. God is not a Fish Inspector is a story about the inevitability of death, and how even the strongest of us cannot escape it.