The Struggle In Katherine Mansfield's The Fly

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The story “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield tells the story of a man who has lost his son due to a war. It shows how difficult it can be for someone to come to terms with losing a loved one and being able to move on. This process takes different amounts of time for everyone. For some, it’s a few months. For others, it’s long torturous years. In the boss’s case, it has been six painful years knowing his son will never return. He has great difficulty getting over his son’s death, although he is slowly in the process without even realizing it, while the fly at the end of the story seems to symbolize the boss’s son, emotions, and memories that he is finally putting to rest. Six years have passed since the death of his son, the boss still finds it extremely hard to move on. When he looks at a picture of his son, the narrator says, “Although over six years had passed away, the boss never thought of the boy except as lying unchanged, unblemished in his uniform, asleep forever,” indicating that the boss still thinks of his son as alive, but is just sleeping forever. He told himself, and even others, that he would never be able to get over the loss of his son. Nothing, not …show more content…
When the boss first recognizes the fly, he is sitting at his desk, pondering about his son. He sees the fly fall into the ink pot and is fighting to get out. The boss “took up a pen, picked the fly out of the ink, and shook it on to a piece of blotting-paper.” He watched as the fly shook itself off and made it through its near death experience. The narrator then says, “But just then the boss had an idea. He plunged his pen back into the ink, leaned his thick wrist on the blotting-paper, and as the fly tried its wings down came a great heavy blot. […] The front legs waved, caught hold, and, more slowly this time, the task began from the

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