Death of the Moth

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Karen Tsai
Mr. Moran
AP English Language
10 August 2012
“The Death of the Moth” Critique
Everyone dies and we know it, yet we struggle to live and adapt. We see death as our enemy but also as a way to let go. In Virginia Woolf’s essay “The Death of the Moth”, Woolf gives us an insight on how life is spent struggling to survive as we pity those struggles when death overtakes life.

Woolf begins her essay with a moth that came out by day and starts to observe its movements. She sees it going back and forth using its wings and efforts to fly around. This simple form of life continues to struggle against the forces of nature and Woolf feels a sense of pity for its “simple activities” (266). Life is simple for the moth and it attempts to keep living but its failure to live gives us a sense that death is omnipotent. Although Woolf tries to save the upside down moth with her pencil, death still takes over the moth’s life. Even the moth seems to accept its fate as its legs stops struggling to upright itself.

Virginia Woolf implies to readers that death is inevitable and thatno one can overcome it. We may pity those who struggles and try to save others like when Woolf stretches out her “pencil, meaning to help him to right himself” (267). Woolf uses this observation and describing method in her essay to show that she is also struggling with mortality. Readers become aware that death is everywhere but with these struggles we find something pure within our life. We may think we have a meaning in life, or none at all, but life has its way that nature allows it to flow.

In my opinion, the author gives readers the feeling that death should be accepted when our time has come and we should not struggle against it when it only gives us more pain to live. Even though we live, we are dying yet we try to save others in an attempt to cheat death. We sometimes ponder the meaning of life when there is no meaning but to simply live. Just as the moth struggles...
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