This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Serrusalmus” by Lesley Glaister. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it. 


Below, you can read an extract from our study guide:

Metaphors and similes

The metaphor of the “glowing world” describes the fish tanks. Marjorie also describes the fish tank as a “glass-walled world”, in which she wishes to live, contained. 

The metaphor of the “doomed angel" describes the sick angel fish that Mick throws out the window. Here, the word “angel” refers to the species angel fish while highlighting the creature’s vulnerability and Marjorie’s sense of helplessness.

The simile “the people scurry like ants”  is associated with Marjorie’s idea that people are like ants in a formicary. When she looks at them from her window, she recalls watching the ants in the formicary when she went to the zoo as a child. 

The simile “the fear he left behind, dripping from the glass like condensation” describes Marjorie’s state of mind after Mick’s visits. Marjorie compares herself with the fish in the tank, while Mick seems to be the one observing her through the glass. 


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