Professor: Rob Rose
November 8, 2012
Exploring the connections between memory and trauma in “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield and “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen In these works “The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield and “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen both reflect on the relations with memory and trauma from the First World War. Mansfield shows her connection through a father who lost his son at war and struggles with reminiscing his son’s death. Mansfield shows how the character starving for attention on the looks of his office to forget the painful damage the war has caused him. Owen writes his story from a soldier’s point of view that was in war and is now disabled from the war. The former soldier was unaware of what war actually was and only signed up because of the attention he got from others. Mansfield shows the terrifying memories of war coming from a family member’s mental point of view: “He did not draw old Woodifield’s attention to the photograph over the table of a grave-looking boy in uniform” (425), the photograph above the table is of the boss’s son. Mansfield writes; “‘My son’ groaned the boss. But no tears came yet” (page 427), she shows the boss is struggling with memories of the death of his son. Owen presents his speaker as one who was in the war and faces trauma physically: “He sat in a wheeled chair….Legless, sewn short at elbow” (line 1-3), the former soldier lost his limbs at war. He loses the feeling of being with a woman: “Now he will never feel again how slim girls’ waists are,” (11,12) he lost his sense of caressing a woman again. Mansfield shows her character in hunger for the attention of others, she writes: “‘I’ve had it done up lately, he explained, as he explained for the past-how many?-weeks” (425) the boss craves the attention of others noticing his office and the fine details. When the boss repeats the phrase: “‘Look sharp’” (429), it shows that the character has high expectations for the people around him and for...
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