The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf Essay

735 Words 3 Pages
The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf

"The Death of the Moth," written by Virginia Woolf, explains the brief life of a moth corresponding with the true nature of life and death. In this essay, Woolf puts the moth in a role that represents life. Woolf makes comparisons of the life outside to the life of the moth. The theme is the mystery of death and the correspondence of the life of the moth with the true nature of life. The images created by Woolf are presented that appeal to the eye. For instance, the moth's body during the death is appealing to the eye. The image makes the reader more interested. The essence of true life is energy. As Woolf describes, "I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. He was little
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Then, as the essay continues, Woolf begins to be more interested and starts to feel a sense of pity or sympathy for the moth. As described here, "Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin and pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body" (426-427). This sentence shows Woolfs' attitude starting to change towards the moth. In the beginning of the essay, Woolf does not show the interest like she does towards the end of the essay. When the moth starts to go through death the tone changes dramatically and Woolf is a state of wonder and awe for the moth.
When the moth is dying Woolf uses lengthier sentences to bring out the importance of the situation:
One could only watch the extraordinary efforts made by those tiny legs against an oncoming doom which could, had it chosen, have submerged an entire city, not merely a city, but masses of human beings; nothing, I knew, had any chance against death. (428)
The lengthier sentences also help to explain the wonder and awe that Woolf expresses towards the moth. The wonder and awe that she expressed was due to the power and inevitability of the death. Woolf was in awe that death is inevitable and that she could not do anything about it.
The next stylistic device is personification. By definition personification is to think of or represent as having human qualities or life. Woolf applies this device to…