The Fly in the Ointment by V. S. Pritchett

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Analyse Pritchett's writing in the story "Fly in the Ointment".

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Pritchett's style as a narrator is quite unique in that it focuses more in the interaction of the characters rather than in the narration of a plot. This means that the actions and reactions of the characters are what actually move the plot forward while also creating an atmosphere that goes hand in hand with the mood of the characters. In "The Fly in the Ointment" the mood is set almost instantly through Harold's thoughts. Immediately we can sense the uneasiness of his visit, and the fact that he is doing "something"against his will.

Better not arrive in a taxi, he was thinking. The old man will wonder where I got the money.

The main character, Harold, is about to offer his financial help to his father. What would otherwise be considered as a good act is ruined by the fact that the father is completely unworthy of his son's kindness. The fly in the ointment, in this case, is that a good deed will not produce anything positive: instead, it will be the...

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