The Fly Katherine Mansfield Analysis

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The Fly - Katherine Mansfield Kathleen Mansfield, who later adopted the pen name, “Katherine Mansfield” was a New Zealandish writer, born on the 14th October 1888, in Wellington. By the time of her death, at age 34 in 1933, she had achieved a reputation as one of the greats. In this specific extract from, she introduces two main characters in the winter of their existence, who have a simple conversation in, “The boss’s”, office in a post war atmosphere. Throughout the extract, they touch on the general themes of ailment, loss and death. In the following analysis, the characters, symbolism and themes will be looked at in greater detail.…show more content…
Since this is a story which has a fair amount to do with the aftermath of World War I, The Boss, given the manner in which he is portrayed, can be perceived as a general in the army. The fly can be thought of as representing the foot soldiers who have been sent off to war, to fight and die. The part where The Boss toys with the fly, and pushes the fly to the edge and then over it, simply to see how much fight the fly has got, can been seen as a symbol of war. She may be trying to imply that war is futile and almost whimsical, when looked at from a greater…show more content…
Giving the reader a glimpse of life after an ailment is how the story begins. She attempts to convey the difficulties faced by people who have to leave their life behind, and start a new one. When she writes, “Since his…stroke, the wife and the girls kept him boxed up in the house”, it shows how he has gone from a standard life, to life of solitude and incarceration. After this point, there’s very little emphasis on ailment, and there’s a greater focus on the control that The Boss displays. He seems to be in control of the state of his room, his employee, “Macey”, and even how he handles the social interaction with Mr. Woodifield, implies precise control. From here, there’s a clear transition to the themes of death, war and the aftermath. The moment Mr Woodifield mentions The Boss’ son, Reggie, the reader can almost sense that the emotional state of the story shifting. The more that, Mr Woodifield speaks of The Boss’ son’s grave, the more of an emotional wreck he seems to be becoming, internally. Here, the theme of war, death and the despair that follows, is clearly seen. The
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