The Character of Boss in "The Fly"

915 Words Jun 1st, 2013 4 Pages
CHARACTER OF THE BOSS IN KATHERINE MANSFIELD's THE FLY

Katherine Mansfield’s short story The Fly is taken from the collection 'Dove’s Nest' and inspired by her dear brother Leslie’s death, it is one of her finest short stories. The Fly is the story of a person haunted for six years by the death of his son. It is the depiction of anguish. Mansfield’s technique in her stories was to make her characters show their thoughts by a kind of mental soliloquy ‘fluttering, gossipy, breathless with questions and answers.’ Moreover like Lawrence she creates an intense atmosphere through suggestive details. The character of the Boss in the story The Fly is represented through dialogue, monologue and symbolism. These are the three clear cut sections
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Woodifield starts talking about Reggie’s grave and the grave of the Boss’ son nearby. The daughters of Woodifield had gone to Belgium and spotted it. The Boss makes no reply but only a quiver in his eyelid showed that he heard. This is the beginning of the process of suppression of emotion. Woodifield goes on describing the graves. The boss responds without even knowing what he was saying. The contrast in characters is clear. Woodifield had accepted his son’s death and could talk freely about it. But it hurt the Boss to even think about it. He wanted to avoid it. In fact he is a figure of pity. It was a hidden sorrow in his mind. After this Woodifield leaves. The mention of Reggie’s grave was a shock to the Boss. For six years the Boss had suppressed sorrow in his mind. He had never thought of the boy dead but in his uniform, sleeping peacefully. Now at the mention of his son’s grave, which was reality he tried to cry but he could not cry. It is common in Mansfield’s stories that characters come to the brink of tears but do not break down. She avoids sentiments. But she expresses something deeper. The Boss prepared to weep but could not weep. In the initial years the Boss used to break down thinking about his son. He had thought then the Time would not change his sentiments. He had considered himself far more hurt by his son’s death than others. He had worked all his life
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