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Virginia Woolf and The Death of the Moth

3 Pages 750 Words December 2018

Virginia Woolf was a bold feminist as well as a pioneer for women writers. She got the wheels turning for women in the world of literature. In “The Death of a Moth,” Woolf tells the story of a moth she observed flying around in the daytime. She points out how contradictory this moth is. She explains how the moth has feelings and struggles in its daily life, yet on the outside people see a different side of it. She continues to observe and admire the moth describing it’s color and watching it struggle. The moth lands on the windowsill and Woolf is keyed into the moth's difficulty in trying escape to the other side of the window. She notices the moth flying back and forth from corner to corner trying to find a way out; trying to find a way to live. As she watches the moth's multiple attempts fail, she decides to step in. As the moth lays on the window sill awaiting its death, Woolf grabs a pencil to help assist in the moth's final attempt at flight. Before she steps in to help, she changes her mind and retracts her pencil. Woolf realizes that the moth’s awkwardness and failure was death’s approach. She comes to terms that this moth’s death is inevitable even if she tries to help it, the moth won't escape death.
Woolf’s essay is so well written some fail to see the underlying message and only see it for a story of a moth. Woolf’s writing style makes it difficult to find the message, but after dissecting the essay and re-reading you could get to the root of the essay’s argument or message. Woolf says she chose not to help the moth because its death was inevitable. Even if she had helped him escape death, they would meet again so what’s the point. She uses the moth as a parallel for herself and the audience to paint a dark yet relatable picture. Her main argument and message being no matter how hard one tries to escape death or prolong life nothing will help death is inevitable so why fight it? She is right there is no ...

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