Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Everything gets better with time.
This is the statement that everyone tells themselves after something terrible happens in their life. But is this actually a true statement, or simply another one of those that is only said to make individuals feel better during a time of grieving?
The boss in Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly” is one example of how these statements are contradicted. Six years after his son’s death, he still has not accepted that his only son was killed in war. The boss occupies himself with different aspects of his office, anything he can find to keep his mind from thinking about the devastating truth instead of accepting it. He points out to Mr. Woodifield each week, he has “new carpet…new furniture...and electric heating” in his office.
Acceptance is one necessity to moving on that the boss does not have. He does not realize, nor does he want to realize, the truth regarding his son’s death. When Mr. Woodifield mentions that his wife and daughter saw the son’s grave, the boss’s mind set completely changes. The diction went from “solid satisfaction” and “lovingly” to “firm, heavy steps” and “plumped…terrible shock” afterwards. Also, the boss becomes almost demented when he continues to dip the fly back into the ink to watch it suffer and struggle to survive, and “felt admiration” towards the fly’s courage to stand and clean its ink-soaked body. If only the boss would realize that he too needs to have that same courage to pick himself up and live again. Just before the fly is dipped into the ink bottle for the last time, it is noted that it looks “timid and weak”. I think the boss notices this trait in the fly because it is exactly what he does not want to be seen in him - a sign of weakness. KB

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