Fly in the Ointment

Topics: Metaphor, Sentence, Great Depression Pages: 3 (1072 words) Published: May 18, 2013
English Commentary: Fly In The Ointment

Q. How does the writer bring out the atmosphere in Fly in The Ointment?

A: The story *Fly in the ointment* , written by V.S. Pritchett ,focusses essentially on a critical father-son relationship where the father and son are solely supportive of each other outwardly and have lost all respect for each other. The setting of the story is that of the 1930's, which was a time of great economic depression in England, specifically in London- which is the hometown of the english writer. People were unemployed and were losing their homes and jobs. This was the time of Pritchett's existence, and he grew up in such an atmosphere- his father had failed his business and was unemployed, and nothing was going very well. Therefore, In my opinion, the story is rather autobiographical and depicts the hardships in the poet's own life . The writer begins the story on a very dark and gloomy note. The atmosphere in this part of the story is extremely bleak and dreary. The use of visual imagery like *Mud Coloured Cloud* (page 112, 1st paragraph) in the very starting of the prose foreshadows the rest of the story, indicating that things are not going well, and will go worse in the future. The imagery also acts as a symbol of sadness and problems. Another meaning that can be drawn from the phrase is that urbanisation has occurred in the city, and due to such tremendous change in ways of life- the cost of living has increased by such an exorbitant amount, people are unable to support their families and buy basic needs necessary for survival. The neighbourhood is poverty-stricken and is in ruins. Another important aspect when discussing the atmosphere is that of depression,death and sadness. The writer has used words and phrases like "Dead hour" (page 112, 1st line ) and "Like New Tombstones" (simile, page 112) These phrases depict diminishing prosperity of the neighbourhood, and how all that was in the town in the past, is now ending....
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