The Fly in the Ointment

This story, the fly in the ointment, by V.S Pritchett, is a peculiar short story about a relationship between a son and a parent. It raised several questions like why does the father freak out when a fly enters the room, and why does he seem to confess his sins ot this fly as though trying to make amends?

You know – ‘, the father said uneasily, fitting a glance at the fly on the ceiling as if he wanted the fly as well as his son to listen to what he was about to say – ‘ you know, the worlds all wrong. i’ve made my mistakes'[…].

the old man tries to convince his son as well as himslef (and the fly) that he does not want money, that he can go on and live his life without the desire for money, without the comfort of knowing you can spend money to improve your life and add luxuries to it. however towards the end of the story as the son says he can raise money, the old mans behavior promptly changes, and he becomes this miserly person. in my opinion this shows the old mans feeble-mindedness, and how much he desires money, that it has corrupted every inch of his character and he ant control himslef, like its taken over his mind like a disease.

‘Dont say i want money.’, the old man said vehemently. ‘dont say it. when i walk out of this place tonight im going to walk into freedom. I am not going to think about money. […]

Raise it?’ the old man said sharply. ‘ Why didn’t you tell me before you could raise money? how can you raise it? By when?’

I think this story teaches us an important moral lesson, which is that money (power), corrupts. it corrupts anyone and no one is impervious to its power.

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