Why has Mansfield included the details and dialogue about the newly decorated office?

In "The Fly," Mansfield includes details of and dialogue about the newly decorated office to emphasize the point that Mr. Woodfield misses his former life.

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At the beginning of the story, we are told that Mr. Woodfield has retired after having a stroke. Since he has had the stroke, his wife and daughters have "kept him boxed up in the house." The implication here is that they are keen to make sure he is safe and comfortable so that he can recover fully, but that he feels stifled and restless.

Readers are also told that his wife and daughters let him go, every Tuesday, "back to the City." This implies that perhaps Mr. Woodfield used to work in the City. When the narrator remarks that we all like to "cling to our last pleasures," the suggestion is that Mr. Woodfield enjoyed and misses his job in the City and goes back there every Tuesday to recapture some of the enjoyment he found in working there. This impression is compounded when Mr. Woodfield is described as "staring almost greedily at the boss, who rolled in his office chair." Mr. Woodfield stares "greedily" at the boss because he is still "greedy" for the life that this boss leads and that he would like to lead again.

When Mansfield includes details of and dialogue about the boss's newly decorated office, she does so to emphasize the impression that Mr. Woodfield misses his old job. The boss points out that the carpet in the office is new, as is the furniture. He points proudly towards the "massive bookcase and the table with legs like twisted treacle." He also explains that the office has "electric heating." These descriptions of the office evoke a sense of comfort and luxury. They also suggest that the person who occupies this office is important. Mansfield thus emphasizes what it is that Mr. Woodfield misses so much. He misses the comfort and luxury of an office like this one, but he also misses that sense of being important.

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