Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"The Fly"

Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly” demonstrates the importance of being able to pick yourself up after a tragedy. While visiting a friend named the boss, Mr. Woodifield mentions his friend’s late son. The boss immediately reverts to a place where he must cry and mourn. He laments his loss, “‘My son!’ groaned the boss. But no tears came yet. In the past, in the first few months, and even years after the boy’s death, he had only to say those words to be overcome by such grief...” The fact that he cannot cry anymore is his heart telling him to move on and remember the happy days, but he is determined to fight it.
When the boss saves a drowning fly, and subsequently endangers it, he is amazed at the fly’s ability to save itself. This reflects the boss’ inability to save himself. Since his son’s death, the boss has not been able to get to a peaceful place. The fly’s persistence also reveals how the boss may wish that his son could have saved himself, if he had only demonstrated enough perseverance.
The boss’s entrapment in the past is also a commentary on a flaw of humans. Like many people, the boss is too focused on the past to be able to finish his life happily. In contrast to his human foe, the fly does not dwell on each new drop of ink that hits, it continues to wipe its wings until it is impossible to continue.
I enjoyed reading “The Fly,” because I was surprised by the actions the main character took, and how he could not follow the fly’s example and press forward. Jane Eyre, reminds me of this story because Rochester endures so many hardships and is at the same lost man by the end. He needs someone to pull him up, which everyone needs at some point. The boss could definitely use some assistance.


No comments: