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Woodifield, and peered out of the great, green-leather armchair by his friend the boss¶s desk as a baby peers out of its pram. His talk was over; it was time for him to be off. But he did not want to go. Since he had retired, since his « stroke, the wife and the girls kept him boxed up in the house every day of the week except Tuesday. On Tuesday he was dressed and brushed and allowed to cut back to the City for the day. Though what he did there the wife and girls couldn¶t imagine. Made a nuisance of himself to his friends, they supposed«. Well, perhaps so. All the same, we cling to our last pleasures as the tree clings to its last leaves. So there sat old Woodifield, smoking a cigar and staring almost greedily at the boss, who rolled in his office chair, stout, rosy, five years older than he, and still going strong, still at the helm. It did one good to see him. Wistfully, admiringly, the old voice added,´It¶s snug in here, upom my word!´ ³Yes, it¶s comfortable enough,´ agreed the boss, and he flipped the Financial Times with a paper-knife. As a matter of fact he was proud of his room; he liked to have it admired, especially by old Woodifield. It gave him a feeling of deep, solid satisfaction to be planted there in the midst of it in full view of that frail old figure in the muffler. ³I¶ve had it done up lately,´ he explained, as he had explained for the past²how many!²weeks. ³New carpet,´ and he pointed to the bright red carpet with a pattern of large white rings. ³New furniture,´ and he nodded towards the massive bookcase and the table with legs like twisted treacle. ³Electric heating!´ He waved almost exultantly towards the five transparent, pearly sausages glowing so softly in the tilted copper pan. But he did not draw old Woodifield¶s attention to the photograph over the table of a grave-looking boy in uniform standing in one of those spectral photographers¶ parks with photographers¶ storm-clouds behind him. It was not new. It had been there for over six years. ³There was something I wanted to tell you,´ said old Woodifield, and his eyes grew dim remembering. ³Now what was it? I had it in my mind when I started out this morning.´ His hands began to tremble, and patches of red showed above his beard. Poor old chap, he¶s on his last pins, thought the boss. And, feeling kindly, he winked at the old man, and said jokingly,´I tell you what. I¶ve got a little drop of something here that¶ll do you good before you go out into the cold again. It¶s beautiful stuff. It wouldn¶t hurt a child.´ He took a key off his watch-chain, unlocked a cupboard below his desk, and drew forth a dark, squat bottle. ³That¶s the medicine,´ said he. ³And the man from whom I got it told me on the strict Q. T. it came from the cellars at Windsor Castle.´ Old Woodifield¶s mouth fell open at the sight. He couldn¶t have looked more surprised if the boss had produced a rabbit. ³It¶s whisky, ain¶t it?´ he piped feebly. The boss turned the bottle and lovingly showed him the label. Whisky it was. ³D¶you know,´ said he, peering up at the boss wonderingly, ³they won¶t let me touch it at home.´ And he looked as though he was going to cry.
and leaning forward.´ he said.´and it¶s all as neat as a garden.´ Old Woodifield paused. and pouring a generous finger into each. ³That was it. It was exactly as though the earth had opened and he had seen the boy lying there with Woodifield¶s girls staring down at him. ³Drink it down. They¶re quite near each other. Nice broad paths.´ piped the old voice. He wanted. watching him. while the grey-haired office messenger. that¶s where we know a bit more than the ladies. he had only to say those words to be overcome by such . he intended. Gertrude brought the pot away with her to teach µem a lesson. It¶ll do you good. The old man swallowed. Although over six years had passed away. and saw the old fellow out.´ cried the boss. dodged in and out of his cubby-hole like a dog that expects to be taken for a run. he had arranged to weep«. ³I thought you¶d like to know. and cocked an eye at old Woodifield. Only a quiver in his eyelids showed that he heard. swooping across for two tumblers that stood on the table with the water-bottle. ³D¶you know what the hotel made the girls pay for a pot of jam?´ he piped.´ The door shut. Quite right. Then the old man brightened wonderfully. no!´ For various reasons the boss had not been across. unblemished in his uniform. hastily wiped his moustaches. Macey. And she hadn¶t taken more than a spoonful when they charged her ten francs.´ quavered old Woodifield.³Ah. the boss covered his face with his hands. The pause came again. They think because we¶re over there having a look round we¶re ready to pay anything. And don¶t put any water with it. too. have yer?´ ³No. so Gertrude says. It was a little pot. heaving himself out of his chair. Then: ³I¶ll see nobody for half an hour. ³There¶s miles of it.´ ³Very good. the firm heavy steps recrossed the bright carpet. and they happened to come across your boy¶s. who was rolling his in his chaps. The girls were in Belgium last week having a look at poor Reggie¶s grave. the fat body plumped down in the spring chair. For it was strange. Flowers growing on all the graves. But no tears came yet. ³Quite right. staring at nothing. quite right!´ cried the boss. ³Understand! Nobody at all. asleep for ever. in the first months and even years after the boy¶s death. You¶ve not been across. He came round by his desk. ³The girls were delighted with the way the place is kept. sir. Couldn¶t be better if they were at home. followed the shuffling footsteps to the door. but the boss made no reply. the boss never thought of the boy except as lying unchanged. That¶s what it is. was silent a moment. though what was quite right he hadn¶t the least idea.´It¶s nutty!´ But it warmed him. no bigger than a half-crown. ³Beautifully looked after. ³Ten francs! Robbery.´ It was plain from his voice how much he liked a nice broad path. Woodifield was gone. pulled out his handkerchief. it seems. and then said faintly. it crept into his chill old brain²he remembered. It¶s sacrilege to tamper with stuff like this. Ah!´ He tossed off his.´ And he turned towards the door.´ said the boss. For a long moment the boss stayed. It had been a terrible shock to him when old Woodifield sprang that remark upon him about the boy¶s grave. it¶s trading on our feelings. ³My son!´ groaned the boss. I call it. In the past.
How on earth could he have slaved. leaned his thick wrist on the blotting-paper. as he dipped the pen deep into the inkpot. ³Simply splendid!´ But all that was over and done with as though it never had been. But it wasn¶t a favourite photograph of his. The front legs waved. the expression was unnatural. All the same. he had declared then. thought the boss. Help! Help! said those struggling legs. What about it this time? A painful moment of suspense followed. He wasn¶t feeling as he wanted to feel. Ever since his birth the boss had worked at building up this business for him. it dragged itself forward. Never say die. picked the fly out of the ink. and he felt a real admiration for the fly¶s courage. took hold. and. and afraid to move because of what would happen next. That was the way to tackle things. might live their loss down. he had taken to it marvellously. tried to expand first one wing and then the other. kept going all those years without the promise for ever before him of the boy¶s stepping into his shoes and carrying on where he left off? And that promise had been so near being fulfilled. . the front legs were again waving. and. It succeeded at last. and as the fly tried its wings down came a great heavy blot. He leaned over the fly and said to it tenderly. it was ready for life again. that was the right spirit. he was puzzled. and the boss decided that this time should be the last. as if painfully. caught hold. Something seemed to be wrong with him. to clean its face. every man jack of them down to old Macey couldn¶t make enough of the boy. even stern-looking. Every morning they had started off together. No. But just then the boss had an idea. it was only a question of« But the fly had again finished its laborious task. denied himself. it had no other meaning if it was not for the boy. stunned. six years«. But then. At that moment the boss noticed that a fly had fallen into his broad inkpot. joyfully. and the boss had just time to refill his pen. Over and under. He decided to get up and have a look at the boy¶s photograph. with the right word for everybody. to shake fair and square on the new-cleaned body yet another dark drop. it fell back again and began to swim. seeming to stand on the tips of its toes. with that boyish look and his habit of saying. The day had come when Macey had handed him the telegram that brought the whole place crashing about his head. Six years ago. Then there was a pause. Time. they had come back by the same train. He¶s a plucky little devil. went a leg along a wing as the stone goes over and under the scythe.grief that nothing short of a violent fit of weeping could relieve him. with his life in ruins. and was trying feebly but desperately to clamber out again. The boy had been in the office learning the ropes for a year before the war. ³You artful little b«´ And he actually had the brilliant notion of breathing on it to help the drying process. it began. The boss took his hands from his face. What would it make of that! What indeed! The little beggar seemed absolutely cowed. and shook it on to a piece of blotting-paper. Then the front legs waved. it began the immense task of cleaning the ink from its wings. could make no difference. The boy had never looked like that. ³Deeply regret to inform you «´ And he had left the office a broken man. For a fraction of a second it lay still on the dark patch that oozed round it. but not he. But the sides of the inkpot were wet and slippery. He plunged his pen back into the ink. like a minute cat. sodden body up. sitting down. How quickly time passed! It might have happened yesterday. Life itself had come to have no other meaning. Other men perhaps might recover. he had told everybody. the task began from the beginning. How was it possible! His boy was an only son. It was cold. The boss took up a pen. the boss felt a rush of relief. over and under. But behold. and. pulling its small. As to his popularity with the staff. And he wasn¶t in the least spoilt. while the fly. it had escaped. Now one could Imagine that the little front legs rubbed against each other lightly. And what congratulations he had received as the boy¶s father! No wonder. more slowly this time. there was something timid and weak about its efforts now. he was just his bright natural self. The horrible danger was over.
³Bring me some fresh blotting-paper. Her short stories are also notable for their use of stream of consciousness. she withdrew to London in 1903 and studied at Queen's College. the quantity with which he was on nodding terms was amazing. The boss lifted the corpse on the end of the paper-knife and flung it into the waste-paper basket. Back in New Zealand in 1906. too. New Zealand.´ And while the old dog padded away he fell to wondering what it was he had been thinking about before. He looked at all in the Charing Cross Road during lunch-time and at any odd time in London. into a middle-class colonial family. But you would have been wrong. who was closely associated with D." (from 'Something Childish But Very Natural') Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington. The fly was dead. Leslie Moore in her diary and correspondence) persuaded Mansfield's father to allow Katherine to move back to England. ³and look sharp about it.H. As a first step to her rebellion against her background. Twaddle it was. Mansfield depicted trivial events and subtle changes in human behavior. She lived for six years in the rural village of Karori. There she devoted herself to writing. than nothing at all. and the draggled fly lay in it and did not stir. where she joined the staff of the College Magazine. ³Come on. Her father. "Henry was a great fellow for books. that it "shows promise of great merit". Her father denied her the opportunity to become a professional cello player ± she was an accomplished violoncellist. Annie Burnell Dyer. In 1908 she studied typing and bookkeeping at Wellington Technical College. Mansfield's creative years were burdened with loneliness. Harold Beauchamp. The last blot fell on the soaked blotting-paper. But such a grinding feeling of wretchedness seized him that he felt positively frightened. anything. the front legs were not to be seen. Later on Mansfield said "I imagine I was always writing. illness. and had affairs with both men and women. she then took up music. But better far write twaddle or anything. alienation ± all this reflected in her work with the bitter depiction of marital and family relationships of her middle-class characters.Pseudonym of Kathleen Murry.´ he said sternly. Mansfield never . with an allowance of £100 a year. Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) . The back legs were stuck to the body. What was it? It was « He took out his handkerchief and passed it inside his collar. was a banker and her mother. was of genteel origins. By his clean neat handling of them and by his nice choice of phrase when discussing them with one or another bookseller you would have thought that he had taken his pap with a tome propped before his nurse's bosom.´ said the boss. with the editor's comment. He started forward and pressed the bell for Macey. original name Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp New Zealand's most famous writer. Like the Russian writer Anton Chekhov. ³Look sharp!´ And he stirred it with his pen²in vain.It was. For the life of him he could not remember. He did not read many nor did he possess above half a dozen.M." At the age of nine she had her first story published. Entitled 'Enna Blake' it appeared in The High School Reporter in Wellington. jealousy. Nothing happened or was likely to happen. Her lifelong friend Ida Baker (L. Lawrence and something of a rival of Virginia Woolf..
Mansfield toured for a while as an extra in opera. In the same year she was found to have tuberculosis. Only three volumes of Mansfield's stories were published during her lifetime. was written during this period. 1923. or her husband. Upon learning that Murry had an affair with the Princess Bibesco (née Asquith). about a overworked nursemaid who kills a baby ± it has been claimed that it was a copy of Chekhov's story 'Spat Khochetsia' (1888. Earlier her stories had appeared in The New Age." . she was once turned out of an omnibus after calling another woman a whore.. Mansfield had to lie a few hours every day on a platform suspended over a cow manger. Sobieniowski was a Polish émigré translator. "But when she put the lid on she thought she heard something crying. Mansfield attended literary parties without much enthusiasm: "Pretty rooms and pretty people. whom she met in Germany." Always outspoken. She goes to her "special" seat with her fur. Her first story published in England was 'The Child-Who-Was-Tired'. A couple sits near her. Before the marriage she had an affair with Garnett Trowell. and puts it in the box. In Bavaria. Until 1914 she published stories in Rhythm and The Blue Review. The girl laughs at her fur and the man says: "Why does she come here at all ± who wants her? Why doesn't she keep her silly old mug at home?" Miss Brill hurries back home. which were published in 1911 under the title In a German Pension. On her return to London. Her last years Mansfield spent in southern France and in Switzerland. It is one of the things which is not done in our world. Sleepyhead). where Mansfield spent some time. a musician. the peak of her achievement being the Garden Party (1922). Mansfield married Murry. she wrote much about her own roots and her childhood. Mansfield focused her writing on New Zealand and her family. I was wretched. Mansfied and Murry were closely associated with D. 'Miss Brill' was about a woman who enjoys the beginning of the Season. During her stay in Germany she wrote satirical sketches of German characters. During the war she travelled restlessly between England and France. who was first a tenant in her flat. 1921) Mansfied did her best work in the early 1920s. She breathed odors emanating from below but the treatment did no good. unclasps the neckpiece quickly." Mansfield's family memoirs were collected in Bliss (1920). 'Prelude' (1916)." (from a letter to Princess Bibesco.visited New Zealand again. I want the feeling of it on my face. Her last words were: "I love the rain. Mansfield became ill with an untreated sexually transmitted disease she contracted from Floryan Sobieniowski. and cigarettes out of a silver tankard. shaken off the moth-powder. and given it a brush. Lawrence and his wife Frieda. She feels that she has a part in the play in the park. one of her most famous stories. in Gurdjieff Institute. Mansfield died of a pulmonary hemorrhage on January 9. France. She had taken it out of its box in the afternoon. the woman had declared that all suffragettes ought to be trampled to death by horses. As a part of her treatment in 1922 at an institute. In 1911 she met John Middleton Murry.H. she suffered a miscarriage. Mansfield objected not to the affair but to her letters to Murry: "I am afraid you must stop writing these love letters to my husband while he and I live together. and somebody will notice if she isn't there. near Fontainebleau. a condition which contributed to her weak health for the rest of her life. Mansfield co-edited and contributed to a series of journals. whom she left a few days after the wedding. which she wrote during the final stages of her illness. seeking relief from tuberculosis. then her lover. After an unhappy marriage in 1909 to George Brown. When her brother "Chummie"died in World War I. a Socialist and former literary critic. and became pregnant. After divorcing her first husband in 1918.. Without the company of her literary friends. family. pretty coffee.
old Mr. even if it is against doctor's orders. and new electric heating. often heated. It does a man good. The story also makes a fascinating study of a psychological crisis that afflicts a man almost completely lacking in self-awareness. INTRODUCTION This disturbing tale has been the subject of considerable. But. with key ideas and images repeated to suggest the complexity of characters' motives and situations. five years older. and there is little consensus on either the story's meaning or literary merit. as he has done for several weeks now. Her influence on the development of the modern short story was also notable. All interpretations. who later turned against Murry and her. which is understated but offers a telling description of character and place. Lawrence. who ignored her wish that he should "tear up and burn as much as possible" of the papers she left behind her. Mr. As the two men enjoy their surroundings and each other's company. and sees the dead man in the bedroom where he is lying. "He was wonderful. The events surround a boss who is reminded of his son's death during a visit from an old friend. Laurie ± ' She stopped. Woodifield admires the office and the boss explains. it has been there for the past six years. and scrapbook were edited by her husband. beautiful. No matter. Virginia Woolf. and is often interpreted as the author's autobiographical statement in her final months of life and how she viewed herself as a helpless victim of dark and unknown forces. He points to the new carpet. 'isn't life ± ' But what life was she couldn't explain. They noticed while there . thinking he is obviously ³on his last pins. is marked by a lack of humor and compassion. The story also is a critique of war and patriarchy. Among her literary friends were Aldous Huxley. as well as a metaphysical exploration of humans' place in the world. The boss feels sorry for the old man. however. seem to concur that ³The Fly´ is perhaps the darkest and most haunting treatment of human corruption in Mansfield's literary oeuvre. His daughters had recently been in Belgium where they visited their brother Reggie's gravesite. is stout and fit. that he has done it up lately. The man then rescues and causes the death of a common housefly. Scott. this marvel had come to the lane. and use of symbolic patterning. 'Isn't life. The man lived in the neighborhood. letters.In 'The Garden Party' (1921) an extravagant garden-party is arranged on a beautiful day. the daughter of the party's hostess.´ He encourages Woodifield to drink some of his excellent whisky to restore his memory. The boss. While they were laughing and while the band was playing. Laura. The story has elements found in many of Mansfield's other works. a stark contrast to his enfeebled former employee. but her mother refuses to understand. As they enjoy their drinks. Woodifield suddenly remembers what he had meant to tell the boss. Woodifield says he cannot recall something he wanted to tell the boss. Woodifield notices that the boss does not point to the photograph of a grave-looking boy in uniform. Plot and Major Characters The story begins with a retired man. She fills a basket with sandwiches. Mansfield's journal. greater concern with internal crisis than external crisis of plot." Crying she tells her brother who is looking for her: "'It was simply marvellous. she looked at her brother. making his weekly visit to the office where he worked before suffering a stroke. He quite understood. as well as and one of the starkest expressions of post-World War I existential helplessness and despair. critical debate. cakes. Laura wants to cancel the party. goes to the widow's house. and D. sharing his warm humanity and attention to small details of human behavior. Woodifield thinks. who considered her overpraised. Woodifield has made a habit of returning to visit his old boss on Tuesday afternoons²the only day of the week his wife and girls allow him out of the house. new furniture. Interpretations of the work abound. hears of the accidental death of a young local working-class man. Woodifield. including the use of epiphany as the focal point of the narrative." Mansfield was greatly influenced by Anton Chekhov.' she stammered. The story's simple action. to see the boss going so strong.H. pastries and other food. The photograph is not new.
Both plots. Six years earlier he had received the telegram announcing his son was dead. whom he had worked for. the girls reported. Many scholars have remarked that the timetable that the story sets for the death of the two sons coincides with the 1915 death of Mansfield's brother. only to be crushed in the end by a selfish and cruel father much like the boss in her story. insisting they detract from a more universally compelling existential message concerning the inevitability of death and man's unwillingness to accept this truth. But after a third inkdrop. He is relieved when the fly again makes the effort to clean itself. He has been seen as a symbol of malignant forces that are base and motiveless. He decides to get up and look at the boy's photograph. and to ³look sharp´ about it. some have claimed. he can be viewed as a sadomasochist who likely cowed his son as he does Woodifield and his clerk. Woodifield asks if the boss has been there. The boss then has an idea. leaving him a broken man. Woodifield's announcement had come as a shock. and the story has spawned a variety of interpretations. but eventually begins to clean itself again. Other men might live their loss down. the boss says he has not. are likened to flies and innocently slaughtered by cruel forces over which they have no control. but he would not. The fly seems stunned. with broad paths and flowers growing on all the plots. He closes his office door. He was the only thing that gave meaning to the boss's life. He feels wretched and frightened. He is a bully who torments the fly for boyish pleasure. The boss imagines that the fly must be joyful knowing it has narrowly escaped death. but the boss responds without listening and hurries to end the conversation. Six years following his son's death. He was sure that the passage of time would make no difference in the intensity of his emotion. he had only to say those words and he would begin weeping violently. In the first months and years after his son's death. At that moment. and his sense of loss is no more than self-pity. How could he? This was his only son. struggling to fight the ravages of her tuberculosis. . were well cared for. During the previous six years he only thought of his boy. He barks an order to his clerk to bring him fresh blotting paper. The boss is visibly upset and distracted as Woodifield gives him the details. Other critics have resisted such autobiographical interpretations. the fly does not stir. then orders his clerk to make sure he remains undisturbed for a half hour. he notices a fly has fallen into his inkpot. a victim of wartime fighting. and a god-like figure who. lying unchanged and unblemished in his uniform. It is frequently seen as an indictment of the brutal horror of World War I. The war dead. then watches as it begins to clean itself. He shows Woodifield out. and covers his face with his hands. Woodifield carries on about how expensive the jam was at the hotel where his girls stayed. when he talked of his son's grave it was as though the earth opened up and he saw his boy lying in the earth with Woodifield's girls staring down at him. He groans ³My son!´ but no tears come. The boss tries to move it with his pen. along with the hopelessness and despair left in its wake. he is unable to weep and doesn't understand what is wrong. Then he tries to recall what he was thinking about before the fly died and cannot. toys with the lives of human beings for sport.that the boss's son's gravesite was nearby. Most critics agree that the reader's early good impression of the boss is continually undermined as the story unfolds. Some critics have pointed to references Mansfield made in her journals and letters about flies to show that the fly represents herself. who was to have taken over his business. Major Themes Mansfield never explained exactly what she meant ³The Fly´ to signify. The boss admires the creature's fighting spirit. Much attention has been paid to the central character of the boss. but then drops a second blot of ink. and the gravesites were in a beautiful place. However. whom everyone loved. struggling to get free. a representative of the generation that sent its sons to their slaughter in a cruel war. it is dead. and plunges his pen back into the pot and drops a blot of ink on the fly. in the words of King Lear. In the end. The boss lifts the corpse of the fly and throws it into the waste-paper. These scholars see the story as essentially about the boss's brief realization of his own pitiful ambitions and mortality before he subconsciously tries to suppress this horrible knowledge. The boss lifts the fly out of the inkpot with his pen and shakes it on some blotting paper. telling it to ³look sharp´ but to no avail. it is claimed. He decides he will drop just one more blot of ink on the fly. slumps into his chair. The boss stares blankly for a time.
It is likely that she was hard-pressed for money to pay for her medical treatment at the time. remarking on Mansfield's use of realism to make the setting of the story authentic so as to draw readers in to the narrative. The boss treats the fly condescendingly and benevolently as he does Woodifield who is ³on his last pins. Critical Reception Mansfield wrote the ³The Fly´ in Paris in 1922 while undergoing X-ray treatment for tuberculosis. spawned a series of responses complaining that the complexity of the piece had been overlooked with this assessment. among other things. and is regarded as a fine example of the complexity of method that is the author's great contribution to the short story form. and some have even suggested that it is the story's flaws that make it an interesting subject of scrutiny. The Dove's Nest and then again in successive volumes of Mansfield's works. in his dotage. is likened to a baby.´ the same order he gives his clerk. Mansfield herself admitted that she ³hated´ writing the story. A 1962 essay by F. However. The work began to receive serious critical treatment beginning in 1945. Woodifield. Critics have also remarked on the story's multi-layered symbolism. when the fly dies the boss suffers a spiritual death. This leads us to wonder if his son did not suffer the same unthinking treatment at the hands of his father. both men are immature and lacking in real strength. and if the boss's grief is in fact genuine. but by the end of the story both men have forgotten about their son's deaths. the work continues to enjoy a reputation as one of Mansfield's most famous stories. Neither of them visits his son's grave because of their respective weaknesses.some commentators claim that the boss should not be viewed as an unsympathetic character. and the boss to a greedy boy. In a response to her friend William Gerhardi. but while the frailty of Woodifield is immediately apparent. . when a series of short articles in The Explicator sought to uncover the symbolic meanings and thematic concerns hidden in the deceptively simply tale. The vigorous boss is at first seen in contrast to doddering old Woodifield. Other critics have seen the boss as a man coming to terms with his own selfishness and heartlessness. the men under the boss's control. As a result. who had confessed to her that he disliked the piece. the story appeared in the highly regarded. Bateson and B. Mansfield died less than a year following the story's publication and did not witness the intense critical and popular interest in ³The Fly. and it is clear from her letters and journals that she was not wholly pleased with it. The answer comes to him briefly. but simply as a man whose experiments on a common housefly are manifestations of an unconscious metaphysical questioning about the meaning of life.´ After its initial magazine publication in 1922. The fly seems to be a symbol for. most critics acknowledge that ³The Fly´ is not one of Mansfield's strongest works.´ He also demands that the fly ³look sharp. Shahevitch in Essays in Criticism. but he becomes frightened and quickly pushes it out of his mind. and was working under the additional pressures of market requirements and publication deadlines. Later commentators took their cue from Bateson's and Shahevitch's critics and have tried to understand why the story has elicited such a range of interpretations. posthumously published collection. the deficiency of the powerful boss is revealed to be far more disturbing. who recognizes briefly that his grief for his son has been based on a kind of self-deception. W. Ironically.