Katherine Mansfield’s short story “The Fly” first appeared in the British publication The Nation and Athenaeum in 1922. Set in the shadow of World War I, “The Fly” explores an elderly man’s internal experience of grief over his son’s death as he torments a fly attempting to escape an inkpot in his office. Published a year before the end of Mansfield's tragically short life, “The Fly” perfectly captures the writing style that made her an influential author in the Modernist movement.


Read our full plot summary of “The Fly.”


See a complete list of the characters in “The Fly” and in-depth analyses of the Boss and Mr. Woodifield.

Literary Devices

Here's where you will find analysis of the key literary devices in “The Fly.”


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Deeper Study

Enhance your understanding of “The Fly” by learning more about Katherine Mansfield and related works on SparkNotes.