Questions and Answers for The Fly

The Fly

Explain what the fly signifies in the story 'The Fly' by Katherine Mansfield.

The fly that the boss so imperiously slaughters at the end of this short story cements the central theme of the story that is death and its inevitability. Critics note that in this story Mansfield...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2012 2:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What is the main theme of "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield?

The main theme of "The Fly" is death. Perhaps the darkest of Katherine Mansfield's works, "The Fly" is an existential study of the effects of senseless death upon others and their loss of will. On...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2017 1:08 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Fly

In Katherine Mansfield's story "The Fly," what does the fly represent?

In the short story "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield, an old man named Woodifield is visiting a friend referred to only as the boss, who is five years older. The boss appears strong, self-reliant,...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2020 1:06 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Fly

Discuss the characters of Mr. Woodifield or Boss in Katherine Mansfield's short story "The Fly"

The boss is Mr. Woodifield’s friend and the main character in this short story. He is described as “stout, rosy and five years older than Mr. Woodifield." Even though he is older than his friend,...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2017 7:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

Please explain the metaphor, "we cling to out last pleasures as the tree clings to its last leaves." How does it...

The direct context of the quote is that the retired Woodifield, who has had a stroke, is only allowed out to visit the City--central London--once a week by his wife and daughters. They can't...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2019 9:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What is the significance of the character being referred to only as “the boss” in "The Fly"?

The visitor, Mr. Woodfield, and the narrator of the story both refer to the owner of the business as the "boss." This indicates how fully and deeply he is identified with his role in life. He has...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2019 7:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

Describe the office of the boss in "The Fly."

From the description that we get in the story, the most salient descriptors of the office of the boss are "snug" and "comfortable." The place is warm, elegant, and furnished anew. For two sad men...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2016 8:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

In The Fly, why has Mansfield left the protagonist unnamed?

Leaving a character nameless may serve several purposes. It may be done to build up an air of mystery and enigma and intensify the suspense element. It could also be to use a character as a...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

How does the line “we cling to our last pleasures as the tree clings to its last leaves” in paragraph 1 of "The Fly"...

The line about clinging to our pleasures refers to old Mr. Woodifield being allowed out of the house once a week by his wife and daughters to visit his old haunts in London.This seems an innocent...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2019 5:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What is the central theme of "The Fly"?

One theme of this story addresses how desperate we are to maintain some semblance of control. The boss feels in control of the conversation with Woodifield, congratulating himself on his relative...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2018 12:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

Identify two smilies located in the first paragraph of "The Fly." For each simile, explain its significance to the...

As the other answers have noted, there are two similes in the first paragraph of "The Fly." First, we learn that Mr. Woodifield: peered out of the great, green-leather armchair by his friend the...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2019 6:30 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Fly

What does "pot of jam" mean in the short story "The Fly"?

Old Woodifield is stirring some pretty unpleasant memories by mentioning the war grave of the boss's son. He doesn't mean anything by it, of course; he's simply relating the story of his daughters...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2018 5:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

Who are the main characters in "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield?

The main characters in "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield are "the boss" and old Mr. Woodifield. This particular story of Mansfield's is considered by many literary critics as her darkest story...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2017 7:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What are the points of view in the story, and why?

The narrative perspective of this great short story is third person. An easy way to check the perspective is to look for what pronouns are used. This story uses words like "he" and "him." The first...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2019 5:27 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What does the last sentence mean

The last sentence in the story is "For the life of him he could not remember." The word "remember" is referenced three times in the story. Old Woodifield initially has trouble remembering what he...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2018 12:48 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What characters are in "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield?  

Mr. Woodifield is a retired, older man who ventures out of his home once a week, on Tuesdays. He has had a stroke, which has presumably led to his retirement. He very much wants to remain relevant,...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2019 8:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

Why did the boss never want to see his son's grave in The Fly?

The narrator does not tell readers that the boss never wanted to see his son's grave. The story tells us that it has been six years since his son was killed in the war, and the boss has not gone to...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2019 12:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

In the short story "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield, why was the boss unnamed?

The Fly was written in 1922, shortly after World War One. In the story, the boss is unnamed, yet we are apprised of his character through his interactions with Mr. Woodifield. We know that he is...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2016 8:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

How are Mr. Woodifield and the boss similar to each other in "The Fly"?

Mr. Woodifield and the boss are around the same age. (There's only a five year age gap between them). It would be safe to conclude that they've gone through many of the same experiences, the most...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2020 10:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

what is the main idea of the story "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield.

In this story a man who has retired after a stroke goes to visit his old boss in his office. During their conversation the man mentions that his daughter had recently gone to a cemetery to visited...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2018 11:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

How did the boss feel after learning about his son’s death?

The boss lost all sense of meaning in his life after the death of his son. The simple thought of his son would send him into fits of tears, and he did not believe that, even with time, he would...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2019 8:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What is the genre of "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield? Do we put short stories in genre-categories?  

Certainly, short stories can be categorized into different genres. For example, a story like Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" could be considered Gothic, mystery, and horror. There are...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2016 5:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

Why does the boss say that the fly is plucky?

Merriam-Webster defines "plucky" as spirited and/or brave. A plucky individual, then, is someone who shows courage and determination in the face of difficulties. The boss sees the fly as plucky...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2018 3:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What should I write in a personal reflection?

A personal reflection about a piece of literature like, “The Fly”, asks you to reflect upon the text by making personal connections to it, how you might sympathize or empathize with characters,...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2016 11:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

Bring out the multiple layers of meaning in Katherine Mansfield's "The Fly."

This excellent story relates to the theme of death, which is displayed in a number of ways in the story. Firstly, when the boss considers Woodfield, he sees a man who has to all intents and...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What is the narrator referring to "the boss" and "the boy" rather than giving name of these characters in "The Fly"?

In Katherine Mansfield's short story "The Fly," most of the characters, including "the boy" and "the boss," are mostly referred to not by their given names but by nouns which indicate their...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2019 3:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What helps Woodfield remember what he wants to talk to "The Boss" about in "The Fly"?

Woodifield looks around the office as the Boss points out how nice everything is, and sees the photo of the Boss' son in his army uniform. That triggers the story of his wife and daughter going to...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2016 3:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What came upon the boss as a terrible shock?

The answer to this question can be found about halfway through this great short story. Woodifield and the boss are talking with each other and sharing a bit of top shelf whisky. Woodifield is quite...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2019 3:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Fly

What does the expression "photographer's storm clouds" mean?

In "The Fly," there is a passage that reads as follows: "But he did not draw old Woodfield's to the photograph over the table of a grave-looking boy in uniform standing in one of those spectral...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2019 9:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

In "The Fly," what did the wife and daughter imagine Mr. Woodifield to be doing on his day to the city?

Since Mr. Woodifield had his stroke, his wife and daughters have been taking care of him. To this end, they keep him boxed up in the house for every day of the week except Tuesday. That's the day...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2020 11:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What are the prepositional phrases in "The Fly"?

A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and is followed by an article (a, an, the) and a noun or just a noun (without an article). Prepositions often give a location, such as "on,"...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2019 8:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Fly

What do we mean by "movement of a story"? How does this relate to "The Fly"?

When an author writes a story, he or she is attempting to "move" the reader through various aspects of the narrative. The story has "movement," and most stories try to incorporate two different...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2020 2:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer