Annie Dillard, the author of “The Death of a Moth” and Virginia Woolf, the author of “The Death of the Moth” have very different outlooks on the subject of life and death. Annie Dillard notices the point of loss and gain involved in the circle of life. Virginia Woolf, however, seems to see life as pointless and meaningless. It is essentially a postponement of the inevitable to her.
Each author writes her essay at a different point in the year. This has a major impact on the personalities each of them. Dillard, the more chipper author, writes her essay in recollection of a past summer. Summer is a time when life is thrilling and nature is at its best, a season of positivity. The offspring of many animals first come 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 are high. Then you have less ecstatic Woolf, who wrote her essay in the fall, a time of changing, when the life of summer is slowly depleted so we can go into the cold days of winter. The autumn is a dark time in which the energy of all living things is being drained, even the summer’s green leaves begin to die out to an orange or red. Fall and summer are totally opposite seasons but the dark time of autumn reflects the dark nature of Woolf’s essay and her as a person.
Each author writes in a manner that clearly describes their surroundings. Dillard goes to the woods to relax and enjoy the world. She describes her environment in a very straight-forward manner painting a vivid image of the setting; even the worms and “twiggy dirt” received mention. She is then inspired by her book and surroundings. Woolf writes from an entirely different perspective. Instead she describes only what is outside, providing evidence that Woolf isolates herself from the rest of the world, instead of embracing and enjoying it as Dillard did. She describes the field that is being plowed, the black, net-like flock of birds...
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