Compulsive Behavior In Katherine Mansfield's The Fly

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Compulsive behaviour Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly” (1922) revolves around three individuals who are connected by having experienced death one way or another. This short story starts with old Mr Woodifield paying the Boss a visit. The Boss,(?) despite being 5 years older than Mr Woodifield, seems far more energetic and stable at the beginning. He shows off his office complacently by presenting his new decorated furniture. Together he and Mr Woodifield have memories of their lost sons fallen in World War 1. The story continues with the Boss left alone in his office desperately trying to weep. He cannot express his feelings and fails to cry. After finding a fly in his inkpot he decides to torture the innocent animal until it finally dies. While…show more content…
(­>>zurueck zum Ursprung…) At first the Boss seems to be in control of his life. Mansfield shows this by Mr. Woodifield being rather impressed by the Boss’s new decorated office while the Boss leads an organized life and proudly exhibits his/THE furniture. However, his son’s picture that has “been there for over six years” (Mansfield 56), REMAINS??/is ignored by him. The Newspaper he reads is “flipped [...] with a paper­knife” (Mansfield 56); at any rate someone that plays so casually with a tool linked to death [OR dangerous tools??? OR with a tool not made to flip objects] is to be seen as self­reliant. In addition to that, his calm way of showing a certain status symbol is underlined by the way he “lovingly show[s]” and offers Mr. Woodifield whiskey (Mansfield 57). The description of “retired”, “old” Mr Woodifield as he “pipes” and “quavers” accompanied with his comparison made to a baby in the first paragraph (Mansfield 56) allows one to get a much more sophisticated picture of the Boss at the beginning. Bateson and Shahevitch interestingly observe the fact that Mr Woodifield “was dressed and
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