Katherine Mansfield Victims And Victimizers Character Analysis

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In “Victims and Victimizers in the Fiction of Katherine Mansfield and Jean Rhys”, Jane Nardin argues that Katherine Mansfield fails to follow the modernist style of writing, which approaches issues from a neutral standpoint, when it comes to victim-ization, due to her inability to portray victims and victimizers neutrally. In order to achieve this equality, the faults of the victim and weaknesses of the victimizer must be observable in a text. However Nardin states that Mansfield did attempt to make her victimizers relatable in some stories. An example of such a story would be “The Fly”. In this short story, Katherine Mansfield describes a morning in the life of a man only referred to as the “the boss” who lost his son in World War 1. The story is struc-tured into 3 parts, narrating the visit of his friend Mr. Woodifield, the boss’s grieving over his son and his interaction with a fly he kills, by repetedly dropping blots of ink on it. The main character in this story is a victimizer, however Mansfield attempts to explore his weaknesses. The boss, even though he is in a position of power, exhibits vulnerability during his interaction with Mr. Woodifiel,while alone and during his interaction with the fly.
The boss exerts power over Mr. Woodifield in order to overcome his self-doubt. He feels a “deep, solid satisfaction” (Mansfield 1), when comparing Mr. Woodifield’s health, to his and feels similarly about his wealth and lifestyle. While this illustrates his arrogance, it

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