The short story The Fly by Katherine Mansfield takes place in an Office in England post WW1. In this story we see two different characters both dealing with problems. The boss lost his son and Woodifield lost his freedom in some ways. The theme of this story is the struggle with internal conflict can lead to difficult choices. Mr. Woodifield is an effective foil, some of his characteristics such as: his age, his economic status and his lack of control over is life help us understand the theme. These three things are what make Woodifield a very efficient foil. The main character in the story which is the boss is characterized as caring about the reputation of his business, not greedy and refined.
One of the things that make Woodifield an efficient foil is his age. He is five years younger than the boss. So they are not too distant apart in their age. This makes the boss listen to and be intrigued by the things that Woodifield has to say. They basically have all they can get in life and from then on it is pretty much clear what would happen. This is not a young man and an older man situation. In this case both are aged men that are talking. Also the friendship affects how they communicate. It is not just and employer-employ relationship it is more than that, they seem to be friends. Woodifield’s age makes him parallel in some ways to the boss. In other aspects Woodifield is worse as he is 5 years younger and in worse health.
Also another characteristic of Woodifield that makes him an efficient foil is his economic status. He unlike the boss is not as wealthy but is in the upper middle classes since he sends his daughters to Belgium to purchase luxury goods but admires the things the boss has. Also he can afford to pays ten francs for jam. The economic status of the foil makes the boss reflect on his own status. This begs the question for the boss why did he start his business and made s