The Death of the Moth Analysis

1517 words 7 pages
“The Death of the Moth” Analysis Life is a constant struggle against the ever present chill of death. Fear, betrayal, and cowardice all stems from life’s distaste of death. Human beings naturally rebuke the unknown, so it is only logical that people fight the inevitability of death. However, most people are ignorant of the reality of one day dying, prompting writer Virginia Woolf to write the essay, “The Death of the Moth”, in order to convey the frailty of life whilst also showing the awesome might of death. In the essay, her main purpose is to show that the moth embodies the human race, and that death is an inevitable fact of life no matter how much the human race struggles to stay alive. Woolf is able to get her purpose across by …show more content…

Their fellow comrade will fall, and it alerts everybody of the harshness of the situation. In reality people fight to live, but everyone will die just like that moth, and by creating an emotional attachment between the readers and the moth, people begin to understand the frailty of existence through this insignificant moth. In addition to creating empathy, Woolf uses a beautifully poetic method in getting her purpose across, which is exploring the external struggles of the moth while employing those struggles to her own personal demons. She is able to switch the narratives between external and internal conflict without the audience even realizing it. Through the use of her vivid imagery and lucid writing style, Woolf achieves this double narrative story without the readers even consciously aware of it. This use of story-telling gives the readers multiple sides of the story, and is able to relate the tragic happenings of the moth to the even more tragic workings of Woolf’s mind. At first she explores the failing strength of the moth, which is the entire basis of the essay. ‘“After perhaps a seventh attempt he slipped from the wooden ledge and fell, fluttering his wings, on to his back on the windowsill. The helplessness of his attitude roused me”’ (Woolf 2). However, she begins to directly correlate these outside and physical experiences to the internal conflict and drama she’s been feeling. ‘“But, as I stretched out a pencil, meaning to help him to right


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