Lesson of the Moth

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The Beauty of Life

The poem the lesson of the moth written by Don Marquis tells of the life of two insects that live in an office. One of the insects is a moth, and the other, Archy, is a cockroach. Archy is a very intelligent cockroach that knows how to type and has the wisdom of a philosopher. The insects are very human-like in the way that they discuss life and the way they convey themselves. The moth has an exceedingly different point of view than Archy. The moth believes “it is better to be a part of beauty/for one instant than to/exist forever and never be a part of beauty.” (Lines 34-37) While Archy “would rather have/half the happiness and twice/the longevity.” (Lines 48-50) The purpose of this poem is to show the beauty of achieving your goal and to help one understand the sacrifices needed to make yourself happy. The poet uses no punctuation due to the fact that Archy wouldn’t be able to hold the shift key down and press a letter at the same time. By using no punctuation, the poem is more realistic in the sense that a cockroach wrote it. It would be very unrealistic to use capital letters when the insect could only one key at a time. A form of beauty is used repetitiously in this poem signifying the importance of it to the moth. The moth found the fire to be incredibly beautiful and would risk his life to see its beauty. Though Archy tried to “argue him/out of his philosophy/he went and immolated himself.” (Lines 43-45) The beauty was found in the pursuit of the fire rather than the end result. A judgmental tone is used in the poem when Archy criticized the beliefs of the moth. He uses his outlook on life as the only way to live and believes nothing else is correct. Though Archy is judgmental with the moth, he does show some concern with the life of the moth. Archy tries to negotiate him out of flying into the light but does it without success. After this incident, Archy questions his view of life and wishes he could find...
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