The Lesson of the Moth Analysis

Topics: Risk, Into Thin Air, Archy and Mehitabel Pages: 2 (470 words) Published: December 11, 2007
"The Lesson of the Moth" Analysis

The title of this poem by Don Marquis is "The Lesson of the Moth" because it is a poem about the thoughts of a moth. The word "lesson" is used here because the moth seems to have a better outlook on life than the man in the poem and the moth is teaching him how to live. The structure of the poem enhances it by separating the poem into sections where new thoughts start. I think that Marquis wanted to get several points across in his poem and separated the poem into sections according to those points. One of the major symbols in the poem is the flame in which the moth is willing to die. It represents the crazy things that certain people do even if they will cost them their lives. The man in this story represents all the people who live their lives very carefully to ensure a long one. The moth symbolizes all the people who don't. Both the views of the man and the moth are trying to accomplish the same thing; a better life. The man wishes to live his life with half of the happiness and live twice as long, while the moth would rather live its life to the fullest even if it means it will be cut short. This Poem and Into Thin Air are related in their symbols. The flame in this poem mirrors Mount Everest, and the moth mirrors John Krakauer and the other climbers. They risked their lives every second they were up on the mountain, knowing full well how dangerous it was, just to be able to get to the top and say that they had accomplished something. They were willing to risk it all to be part of the "beauty", just like the moth. From the two texts, I've concluded that there are two types of people, those willing to take extreme risks, and those who just aren't. Some people, like the climbers and the moth, are willing to take risks for the things that they really desire. Other people, like the people who called mountain climbing crazy and the man in the poem, feel that life is already too short and want to live very long even if they...
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