A flaw we have as humans is knowing what awaits us, yet ignoring the possibility of it ever becoming a reality. This flaw in a microcosm mirrors Dan Berry’s reference to his child’s goldfish in his essay One last Swirl Around the Bowl. In the text Dan Barry stated that “The fish is well more than 3 years old and cost about 3$”, showing a neutral tone toward the fish, but later we see him yelling “Come on! Eat something! Please!”, so why would he plead with a “stupid” fish to eat, knowing he would soon die? He never wanted a fish, even tried lying to his daughter so she would change her mind about getting one, but now after three years of having this fish, and knowing he is about to die, Dan Barry needs him to live.
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This is because in this fish he saw his mother back when she was sixty-one refusing to eat toast, and drink Ensure, he saw his father at seventy-six refusing to drink anything, and lastly he saw himself in John Cronin when he was sick from chemotherapy lying in a hospital bed, unmoving, surrounded by untouched food. This fish is making him think of a time he rather forget, and about how time is ever fleeting, and ever moving. Since his own parents died close to his age, when will death come for him? In a song by Bear’s Den “Agape”, there is a lyric where it states “For I’m so scared of losing you, and I don’t know what I can do about it” applying to how Dan Berry feels when the fish reminds him of what is coming. John Cronin makes the nightmare of knowing that soon he will be taking his final breath in a hospital bed, an all too real reality.Similar to all of us, Dan Barry does not want to think about those inevitable possibilities. That is why he desperately begs John Cronin the fish to keep living, because when this fish dies, he remembers that he will soon follow along the same mortal coilConversely through the fish continuing to live even if it is a struggle, this gives Dan Barry a hope, however dim, of living longer.
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