Death of a Moth Comparison Between Dillard and Woolf

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Living to Die, or Dying to Live
February 25, 1996
This essay was originally written in February of 1996 for a composition class that I took at a local community college while completing my third and final year of high school. The original text has been edited to correct spelling and grammar. In truth, this essay is more of a collaboration between Betsy and I. She had take the class from the same instructor the year before. Many of the concepts discussed are largely extrapolations and enhancements of ideas she expressed. She got a B+ on her version; I got an A on mine :). Annie Dillard, the author of "Death of a Moth" and Virginia Woolf, the author of "The Death of the Moth" have different perspectives on the subject of life and death. Annie Dillard sees the value of life, especially in one's death. Virginia Woolf, however, seems to perceive life as pointless and meaningless. It was merely a postponement of the inevitable to her. Each author writes her essay at a different time of year. This has a significant impact on the thoughts and attitudes on each of them. Dillard writes her essay in recollection of a past summer. Summer is a time when life abounds. The offspring of many animals first venture out into the world in summer, signifying the beginning of new life. Because summer is a warm and bright season, energy is at its peak, and spirits high. In sharp contrast, Woolf wrote her essay in the fall, a time of change from vibrance and life of summer to the dormancy of winter. The autumn is a dark time in which the energy of all living things is depleted. As autumn approaches, many people experience a form of depression called Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD). The dark time of autumn reflects the dark nature of Woolf's essay and her life. Each author writes in a manner that clearly describes her surroundings. Dillard goes to the woods to relax and experience her environment. She describes her environment in a lifelike manner; even the worms and "twiggy...
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