Death Of A Moth Essay

1128 WordsSep 26, 20175 Pages
“The Land Ethic” vs “The Death of the Moth” Marlee Matlin once said,“The Earth does not belong to us: We belong to the Earth.” In Aldo Leopold’s essay, “The Land Ethic”, there are several overwhelming examples that illustrate why we as humans would believe we own the Earth when we really don’t. Paradoxically, looking at Virginia Woolf’s work, “The Death of a Moth”, one would come to believe that none of that matters because all living beings will suffer the fate of death. However, both works show that there can be a reconciliation between a certain kind of symbiosis: man vs man, land vs land, or man vs land. “The Death of a Moth” may show that all life forms end eventually, but “The Land Ethic” convinces readers that…show more content…
She doesn’t start to cherish the life of the moth until it faces the near experience of death which discloses several revelations. In Aristotle’s rhetoric, such feeling can be defined as pathos: a condition that evokes pity or sadness. Evidence from both works show that humans don’t necessarily care about other life forms unless it affects or benefits them in some way, shape or form. So at what point do we,as humans, determine what part of the land is more important than the other? We are also a part of “the land pyramid” (Leopold). So why do we feel a sort of superiority to the other members of the community or the need to use so many of the land’s resources futilely and excessively? The transparent and most logical answer would be sustenance. All creatures live to survive, and death is motivation enough for life to have value. Leopold could have argued that man’s exploitation of the land is superfluous, but others could respond with a rebuttal stating that the exploitation is for the betterment of the human society. “The puzzling aspect of such situations is that the existence of obligations over and above self-interest is taken for granted in such rural community enterprises as the betterment of roads, schools, churches, and baseball teams”(Leopold). Those that are wise would note humans as biased because we never consider what determines whether a species should diminish and die out for
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