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Agam Sidhu
Johnson
Rhet 1302
26 February 2013
The Death of the Moth Analysis
All living creatures must face the battle between life and death. In Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” a moth is shown to be injured and laying in a window pane staring upon death. Like the moth, humans face the struggle of living life and facing death. The fact that death is inevitable, allows humans to shape their lives in a way that makes them content. Woolf effectively uses the dying moth to represent the pathetic nature of life and the acceptance of death. The moth, injured and dying, represents how pathetic life can really be. While the moth is injured it tries to free itself from the binds of its physical injury. Watching the moth struggle, “One, was, indeed, conscious of a queer feeling of pity for him. The possibilities of pleasure seemed that morning so enormous and so various that to have only a moth’s part in life, and a day moth’s at that, appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meager opportunities to the full, pathetic.”(Woolf 19) The emotional appeal Woolf uses allows the reader to understand how Woolf sees the moth. The negative connotation of the moth’s life signifies the pathetic view Woolf has about life. Details in the moth’s role in life and the personification of the moth, giving the moth emotions, portray the sorrow the author has towards life. As the moth is stricken with injury it unsuccessfully tries to escape the room through the window, “That was all he could do, in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea. What he could do he did… enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. As often as he crossed the pane, I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little or nothing but life.”(Woolf 19) The contrast between the sky and the moth emphasize the frailness of the moth and of...
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