Essay on The Fly by Katherine Mansfield

1180 WordsMar 22, 20095 Pages
“The Fly” Having read many pieces of literature through short stories, it is evident that each story has its own unique use of symbolism. Diverse characters in each work of literature are used to demonstrate these forms of symbolism. The boss and his inner conflict illustrate a great deal of symbolism in “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield. The boss’s perception of the actions of the fly creates an interesting view of the comparison of his father-son, father-fly relationship. Katherine Mansfield, a famous realist, who uses concrete images, appeals to many readers because she incorporates her life into the stories she writes. Much attention is paid to the central character, the boss and his life (Schoenberg). It is interesting…show more content…
He overwhelms his son by taking control of his future and planning out his life. The boss’s plan for his son is to take over the business which gives the son no other choices or opportunities concerning his future. “Ever since his birth, the boss has worked at building up his business for him; it had no other meaning if it was not for the boy” (Mansfield 508). It seems as though the physical action of the boss smothering the fly is associated with the sufferings that his son has experienced. Both the boss’s son and the fly go through similar yet different forms of suffering throughout their lives. Interestingly, while the fly is struggling to live, the boss utters, “Come on, Look Sharp” (Mansfield 509), just as he would say to his suffering son. Both the fly and victims of wartime fighting (his son) are innocently killed by cruel forces over which they have no control (Schoenberg). The antagonist is the character or force that represents the opposition to the protagonist and is the source for conflict. Mr. Woodifield plays the roll of the antagonist in “The Fly”. He is a former employee of the boss who comes by the office to visit once a week. The two men usually talk, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company. Mr. Woodifield is not in great health because of a stroke. The boss is five years older than him and is illustrated as being in much better shape. “Poor old chap, he's on his last pins, thought the boss”
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