The Fly Katherine Mansfield

916 Words 4 Pages
Katherine Mansfield's short story, "The fly," is about a man who is struggling with his grief over his son untimely death. The man, referred to only as "the boss", uses different coping techniques throughout the story to avoid dealing with his loss. By avoiding dealing with his son's death the boss's has found a way to hold on to his son. The prevailing theme in the fly is people use a variety of ways to cope with overwhelming grief including controlling their surroundings, avoidance of the subject entirely, and distracting their mind with other things seemly insignificant things, in order to hold on to their pain and hurt thus enabling them to hold on to their loved ones.

The boss likes to controlling his surroundings as a way to avoid dealing
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The boss had vowed to never get over his loss. "Time, he had declared then, he had told everybody, could make no difference. Other men perhaps might recover, might live their loss down, but not he. How was it possible? His boy was an only son. Ever since his birth the boss had worked at building up this business for him; it had no other meaning if it was not for the boy. Life itself had come to have no other meaning." Only to find himself unable to grieve like he used to be able to. To distract himself from this unpleasant and unwelcome fact, the boss notices a fly struggling to get out of his inkwell. Helping the fly out of the inkwell the boss is enthused at how the fly springs back to life. The boss wants to see how the fly will react to getting drowned in ink again so he drops ink on the blotting paper where the fly was drying off. The boss enjoyed how spunky the fly was and how quickly it dried it self off, although it took longer than before. The boss drops ink on the fly for the third time, the poor fly finally gives in and succumbs to drowning. The boss was frightened he ended up killing the fly, quickly getting rid of the fly and paper so he could avoid dealing with with the turn of events. The boss then barks at his secretary to bring the boss more blotting paper and to," look sharp about

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