Essay on Dillard and Woolf Compare and Contrast

905 WordsNov 12, 20124 Pages
Dillard and Woolf Style and Effect Compare and Contrast Annie Dillard and Virginia Woolf both wrote beautiful essays, entitled “Death of A Moth,” and “Death of the Moth,” respectively. The similarities between the two pieces are seen 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 respective writer; Dillard utilizes more blunt, and often graphic description in her writing, contrasting with Woolf’s reverent and solemn writing. Dillard is affected by allowing her to contemplate the concept of eternity and purpose…show more content…
Contrary to many people, including Woolf’s, beliefs, death is not the end of life. The moth becomes bigger than itself. It was a normal moth, yet its untimely death benefitted Dillard. Though reading a book may not be considered great, Dillard enjoys it, and would not have been able to enjoy it without the ultimate sacrifice performed by the mere moth, which became bigger in a single moment. Unlike Dillard’s use of long sentences to create large amounts of description, Woolf uses short sentences to express her emotion. Beautiful adjectives and verbs, such as fluttering, flood Woolf’s writing, compared to Dillard’s gruesome verbs, such as sputtering, and jerked. Adjectives such as insignificant set up a depressing, emotional, and pensive tone. Using shorter sentences, such as, “The struggle was over,” (Woolf, “The Death of the Moth,”) and, “What he could do he did,” (Woolf, “The Death of the Moth.”) allows the reader to think and reflect about it. In Dillard’s writing, the reader often can imagine what they are reading from her blunt descriptions. In Woolf’s piece, readers reflect more on the meaning and the impact of the piece through the use of short sentences. Watching the hopeless death of the vulnerable moth leaves Woolf contemplating her own life, as she compares the moth to herself, and the human race. The moth, caught in a windowsill, is compared to the outside world by Woolf; while the moth flutters and exhibits life,

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