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Annie Dillard and Virginia Woolf both wrote beautiful essays, “Death of A Moth,” and “Death of the Moth,” The similarities between the two pieces are just in the titles; however the pieces exhibit several differences. While both Dillard and Woolf wrote extensive and detailed essays following deaths of moths, each writer’s work displays influence from different styles and tone, and each moth has a different effect on the writer. Dillard uses blunt and graphic description in her writing, unlike Woof’s writing. Dillard writes about life and death, and compares the moth to a “virgin gone to heaven”. Wolf writes about the death of the moth as a just a part of life, and states how conquers all. A superfluous use of description emphasizes Dillard’s unique and meticulous style. The use of long sentences allows for abundant amounts of description, coupled with figurative language, and imagery. Dillard uses graphic verbs to describe the death of a moth. For example, in the midst of the death, Dillard describes it by saying, “...Her head jerked in spasms, making a spattering noise; her antennae crisped and burnt away...” (“Death of a Moth”.) However, she still manages to make the moth seem beautiful by calling its body, “a spectacular skeleton,” and comparing the moth’s wings to angels’ wings. Dillard’s use of description allows readers to visualize the moth and its death. Dillard is relatively emotionally unaffected by the moth’s death, as opposed to Woolf, as seen in sentence structure. Dillard’s skillful description mixes brutality with beauty in order to describe death.
Annie Dillard and Virginia Woolf both wrote beautiful essays, “Death of A Moth,” and “Death of the...
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