Death of the Moth Essay

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The Death of the Moth
In the essay by Virginia Woolf the reader is led to see how Woolf feels about the life of an insignificant day moth. Through most of the essay, there are reasons to believe that Woolf is led to a sort of vendetta against the day moth, exhibiting hatred, jealously, enjoyment, an almost sarcastic sympathy over the struggles of the day moth, and being responsible for its death.

As Woolf’s essay begins, the reader immediately picks up on Woolf’s feelings of hatred against the day moth. The second paragraph has Woolf thinking, “Watching him, it seemed as if a fiber, very thin but pure, of enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body” (Woolf 602), by that thought process it seems as if Woolf wants his efforts to be in vain. As the quote says, she just sat there watching the poor day moth struggle against the window, trying to escape. She could have just as easily opened the window to let the day moth free: however as I suggested, she hates the moth for even attempting something she could not, escaping into the free world.

When the day moth started to slow down his efforts due to exhaustion, Woolf becomes satisfied and thrilled at the thought that the moth cannot succeed at its goal to leave, because she knows that if it did it would be free, unlike her. Misery loves company, and I believe even though it’s not another human who feels this pain but a moth instead, it feels just as satisfying to her. Suggesting from the passage, “I watched these futile attempts for a time without thinking” (Woolf 602), Woolf seems to have a desire to watch the day moth only when it tries to escape in vain, which makes the reader think why she would be so cold, with the answer being simply being gratification. Seeing the puny moth fail repeatedly made her feel good and secure, knowing she wasn’t alone in her “prison”.

Finally the moth started to show the signs of death. That made Woolf seem kind, showing what seemed like...
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