Consequences of War in the Short Story, The Fly by Katherine Mansfield Essay

Consequences of War in the Short Story, The Fly by Katherine Mansfield Essay

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The short story “The Fly” was written in 1922, and was first published in “The Nation & Antheaeum” on 18 March 1922.
The plot sets off with an elderly weak, retired man, named Mr. Woodifield making his weekly visit to the place where he had worked before he suffered a stroke. Mr. Woodifeld visits his old boss, who is a strong contrast to Mr. Woodifield. Even though the boss is five years older than Mr. Woodifield he is much stronger and much more fit. The two men enjoy each other’s company. Mr Woodifield enjoys the company because it reminds him of his youth. His youth that has been stolen from him by his stroke. His wife refuses to let him go out more than once a week. He chooses to go to his old office because this place reminds him of when he was still going strong, just like the boss is now. The protagonist, the boss, on the other hand enjoys the company, because of his ego. He loves showing his new office to Mr. Woodifield. An office that has just been refurbished which he is very proud of. Only one thing is different this time. After the two friends share a whiskey, Mr. Woodifield recollects something that he wanted to tell the boss.
While Mr. Woodifield daughters were on a visit to their brother’s graveyard, they spotted the boss, son’s graveyard nearby. The boss ignores the rest of his story and quickly shows him the way out. The boss is clearly upset. The war had taken away his son. Six years ago. In the past the boss would only have to think of his son to burst out in a mournful weeping. However no tears left his eyelids. He can’t understand himself. The boss believes that everything he has ever done was for his son. He has established his business, which everybody loved, with one thing in mind – that one day his son ...


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...ion, while reading the short story, whether he is truly sad that he lost his son or not.
Thus we can conclude that both the boss and the fly can be interpreted in different ways. The story is a great example of the inevitability of death and how futile the war was. The story could also learn one that time heals all wounds. This is a great short story with a great use of symbolism and allegory to criticize society and that age’s problems.
After reading this story you could easily draw parallels to famous poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sasson, Rupert Brooke and John Mccrae. All of these famous poets all wrote about the horrible brutal consequences of the war. Some of them even experienced the war. Some of them war scared because of the war. But they all wanted to show the genuine version of the war and not the glorified version that was used as propaganda.

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