First, it must be noted that Woolf is exceptionally skilled at describing the most mundane subject in minute detail, a detail so thorough that the reader can see precisely what Woolf herself sees. "The Death of the Moth" can certainly, at first glance, appear as nothing more than a very keen observation of a small thing, a moth. Upon reflection, however, one sees many possible deeper meanings. First, the most obvious, as Woolf describes this insignificant moth: the reader can't help but look at parallels between Woolf and her struggle as a woman, and her fight for recognition for all women, and this insignificant moth's struggle-otherwise unnoticed but for her accidental note. As Woolf describes the moth and its eventual submission to death, the reader is reminded of Woolf's personal struggle with mental illness, as well as the fact that this was written later in her career, and was not published until 1942. Woolf committed suicide in 1941. The perspective in this essay is interesting: objectively watching the struggle of a moth, "conscious of a queer feeling of pity for him." As a cool observer, Woolf comments on this moth's life, which "appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meager opportunities to the full, pathetic." As Woolf continues to report with detached curiosity on the moth and its vain struggle and eventual submission to death, it strikes one that this could even be a contemplation, a preparation, for her own suicide. Woolf's description of the moth in death seems as though it is something she imagined for herself: "The insignificant little creature now knew death. As I looked at the dead moth, this minute wayside triumph of so great a force over so mean an antagonist filled me with wonder. Just as life had been so strange a few minutes before, so death was now as strange. The moth having righted himself now lay most decently and uncomplainingly composed. O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am." Death is a topic that both attracts and repels at the same time. Those who are living are so curious about it -- what is it? How does it feel? What happens next? We all know that death is inevitable. Not long after writing this essay, Woolf weighted her pockets with stones and walked calmly into a river, to her death. This essay in some ways is timeless, depicting all of humanity and its struggles in life, and then inevitable death. The Death of The Moth I wrote this essay concerning my opinion on Virginia Woolf's essay "The Death of the Moth," for advanced English. Any thoughts on it would be gladly received. The Death of the Moth, by Virginia Woolf, is an essay inaccurately addressing the precarious and subtle relationship between life and death. This conclusion can be determined through the concept that her assertion that death is more powerful than life was merely a biased and tunnel-visioned opinion. Woolf, being emotionally and psychologically crippled by depression throughout her lifetime, morbidly expressed her perspective of the world in this piece, written one year prior to her suicide. It commences with her observing the activities of a day moth, struggling to escape from the imprisonment of her room, searching for a route within proximity of the window. She admires the vivacity of the moth and it's ardent desire to survive, yet pities it as an insignificant and ignorant being. "It was as if someone had taken a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers, had set it dancing and zigzagging to show us the true nature of life." [6.] Her reference to

the true nature of life could be interpreted to mean that Woolf now sees the operations of life as being pathetic in it's redundancy and futility. She takes the motions of the moth as a representation of what humans do on a more complex level, as people chase tired and unresolvable dilemmas on part of our own ambivalence and flawed nature. It seems that she correlates the trials of the moth with those of human beings; that the trepidation and obstacles we attempt to vanquish are never truly overcome, for we reside in a chronic trap that inhibits us from release and submerges us in an asininity more intricate but just as limiting. The true tragedy, she claims, is that we never come to fully realize this, prancing about in belief that our efforts have satisfied a teleological or highly relevant purpose, or we have at least done all we can to come closer to attaining these objectives. This trap is not everlasting for the individual, however. It ceases to exist by the force of an omnipotent power: Death. After mentally remarking on the pitiful behavior of the moth, the creature begins to gradually end it's battle for escape, drifting into physical incapacitation. "It flashed upon me he was experiencing difficulties; he could no longer raise himself; his legs struggled vainly." [6.] He repeatedly tried to right himself and all attempts were a miserable failure. She witnessed all animation depart from this tiny organism, knowing that any attempt to aide him now would prove dilatory and useless. The moth eventually did right itself, but upon doing so, it collapsed into the realm of death. "The moth...lay most decently and uncomplainingly composed. O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am." [7.] Her refusal to understand the universality and equality of the cycle of life and death is what makes such a conclusion, however eloquent and thought-provoking, incorrect. One could say that rather one force being stronger than the other, they are simultaneous and complimentary components within the entire span of existence. Although everything dies or is eventually eradicated, there is always a successor, and this constant balance is what perpetuates the subsistence of life itself. A mouse dies in the claws of a cat, the cat lives on to give birth to kittens; a cow consumes a plant, but it's defecation provides the service of fertilizer for remaining plants, and at one point the animal's corpse will nourish the surrounding dirt of the its grave; a person will be killed by a virus that will continue to live on by triumphing over a host, but this supposed destroyer of life minimizes the increase in overpopulation [and with most organisms minimizes overpopulation in general,] and thus promotes healthier population densities and immune systems with better adaptations for defense; even the thorough breakdown of entities in outer space will arrive at a time of merging into a new form of existence, such as when a fragment of the Earth will compose the moon or when the supposed explosion of a condition with such concentration of heat and intensity produced all dust particles that later assumed the shape and structure of everything existing. Woolf failed to perceive that Life and Death are not two isolated variables whose interaction is that of Death being resolute in taking Life, so Life must forfeit and hand itself over to the dominant power; on the contrary, they are two variables whose place are so homogeneously assembled that they do not only endorse each other's roles in existence, they are dependent on one another for survival. Death isn't stronger than Life, nor Life Death; they are an equal partnership, standing interdigitated, sustaining the universe as we know it.


Woolf is able to represent abstract ideas in a more concrete manner. now and then. impersonal. several examples are: “Nevertheless. The moth flew. which occurs when she writes: “That was all he could do. of a steamer out at sea. but masses of human beings. For example: “. Virginia Woolf. At first indifferent. the width of the sky. and the moth are personified. as I stretched out a pencil..” Of course the forces of nature cannot really be opposed to any certain creature. its world constrained by the boundaries of the wood holding the glass. the far-off smoke of houses. and then back as the rest of life continued ignorant of its movements. Eventually the moth settles on the windowsill and Woolf forgets it until she notices it trying to move again.” is a simile used to illustrate the moth and the immense amount of energy it has. Woolf reaches out to help when she realizes that it is dying stating “the helplessness of his attitude roused me. But. underlying metaphor. Woolf uses symbolism in her essay when she speaks of the moth and its journey towards death. he could no longer raise himself. landing on its back. massed outside indifferent. Also: “It was as if someone had taken a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers. and falls back down to the sill. after a few moments sank slowly down upon the trees until every twig seemed to have a knot at the end of it. he seemed to say.Death is a difficult subject for anyone to speak of.” “the insignificant little creature now knew death. One example of this device is shown when she writes: “Yet the power was there all the same. It attempts to fly but fails. The Death of the Moth contains a wide variety of rhetorical devices that make it powerful yet simple. One of the most common tropes the author uses is simile. Although it is relatively short. the present specimen. to the other. have submerged an entire city. This story shows that life is as strange and familiar as death to us all.. The moth is also personified throughout the essay. first from one side.” and “O yes. Life.seemed to be content with life. and the romantic voice. not merely a city. not attending to anything in particular. she writes about a moth flying about a windowpane. his legs struggled vainly. yet this description helps you become sympathetic towards the moth in its struggle against this seemingly evil force.” is a simile Woolf uses to describe a gathering of rooks in the trees outside her window.. in spite of the size of the downs.. which. death.” A good example of hyperbole is present when the author describes: “One could only watch the extraordinary effort made by those tiny legs against an oncoming doom which could. had it chosen. and the setting. It flashed upon me that he was in difficulties. had set it dancing and zig-zagging to show us the true nature of life. and by the addition of human-like characteristics.until it looked as if a vast net with thousands of black knots in it had been cast up into the air. is still able to write a lovely.” Throughout the essay. CRITICAL ANALYSIS A surprisingly interesting essay.. the author. tiny feet clawing at the air as it tries to right itself.” . Woolf was eventually moved to pity the moth.. personification is used to add even more significance to the event occurring. Somehow it was opposed to the little hay-coloured moth. but this time its movements are slow and awkward. although it is a part of everyday life. meaning to help him to right himself. In Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth”. Another device Woolf uses is parallelism. it came over me that the failure and awkwardness were the approach of death” and she was reluctant to interfere with this natural phenomna. characters. detailed story with a strong. I believe this story was well written and will critique the symbolism. death is stronger than I am.

and personification are three devices that are significant in the essay. Woolf puts the moth in a role that represents life. According to her mind . Althoughthe writer seems The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf "The Death of the Moth. The image makes the reader more interested.. She says that flying moths are not properly to be called moths they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights and ivy-blossom which the commonest yellow underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain never fails to rouse in us . explains the brief life of a moth corresponding with the true nature of life and death. The essence of true life is energy. the moth's body during the death is appealing to the eye. It was a surprisingly light and meaningful essay on an event that most people would probably overlook. Analyzingthe contentor idea of the essaycan lead into understandingthe structureof the composition. Use of Metaphor inThe Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf The essayThe Deathof the Mothby VirginiaWoolf.with the windowopento the world. For instance.Analyzinganddescribingthis complexessaystructurecanbe doneby evaluatingthe meaningandmetaphorsusedby the authorto portraythe messageof the story.moth .Thewriter is alonein her study. The theme is the mystery of death and the correspondence of the life of the moth with the true nature of life. "I could fancy that a thread of vital light became visible. Woolf makes comparisons of the life outside to the life of the moth. In this essay. Woolf employs several stylistic devices that make the essay more interesting to the reader. As Woolf describes. Throughout the essay the tone changes by Wool.who is trying to go through a windowpane . Her simplicity and detail keeps her essay from becoming overcomplicated. lengthy sentence structure. In the beginning of the essay .the audienceseesa connectionthrough bothsubjects.By using such a simple creature's struggle against death as a metaphor. though the whole essay is hardly several pages The author describes a struggle of a small creature . overly dramatic. He was little or nothing but life" (Woolf 427). it is necessary to outline that The Death of the Moth ' by Woolf is rather symbolic and figurative . Woolf creates a beautiful essay on the fragility and impermanence of life. Throughthese strugglesthat eachof the charactersin the storyendures. they are hybrid creatures . while alsoillustratinga kindof connectionbetweenthe twocharacters. whichindicatesthat she is observingthe surrounding outsideandthe life that naturehas. The death of the moth The Death of the Moth ' by Virginia Woolf Firstly . is a pieceof literaturethat describesthe physicalstruggle of a dyingmothandalso. whichwill allowthe audienceto comprehendwhatthe true meaningof the essayis and cometo understandthe lessonof the story. The author involves many themes and raises questions .. The thread of vital light represents the energy. the author provides her suggestions towards the nature of moths ." written by Virginia Woolf. The images created by Woolf are presented that appeal to the eye. or depressing.This pieceof literatureis conveyingthe idea of ironybetweenthe writer andthe moth. The changing in tone. an inner strugglethat the writer is experiencingas well.

and stating its mode of development. in a minute stillness replaced previous animation . it is necessary to raise three main critical questions : what is the main theme of the essay ? What did author want to say ? What did the death of the moth symbolize In the first of these essays. after seven attempts to reach the door . because he is just a small creature in the world being afforded simply nothing but life . The birds are “soaring” and each appears to be a black knot in a net. The last sentence of the paragraph states the significance of the description. a simile. the rooks were “soaring round the tree tops until it looked as if a vast net with thousands of black knots in it had been cast up into the air” (57). The last sentence states what the writer sees as Woolf's main idea. “The Death of the Moth. later he started his strange dancing trying to flutter to the bottom of the window . contrast. the instinctive struggle against death. Click on this link for infomation on integrating quotations into your writing. The author forgot about hum . Despite the fact that moth 's legs agitated once more . i. Moth is insignificant and petty .” by Virginia Woolf. Moth 's body was relaxed and suddenly became grey symbolizing that insignificant creature was dead : O yes . fluttered his wings and fell on his back . Here the language is concrete. The scene that emerges is filled with energy and activity. Note how the quoted material is integrated with the writer's own words so that the two form complete. This paragraph gives two examples of concrete language and documents the quotations. Nevertheless . The moth was trying to make her way through the narrow and intricate corridors . This is a comparison. The first sentence gives orientating information by naming the author and the title of the essay. Woolf sees the death of the moth as an illustration of the universal dominion of death. he seemed to say . After a certain period of constant effort . because a moth couldn 't raise itself any more .e. he decided to settle on the window ledge and to lie in the sun . indicating the topic. moth slipped from the window ledge . Woolf tried to help a moth with stretching out a pencil and she realized that it was approach of death . the author uses concrete and specific language to contrast the vitality of the English countryside with the death of a common moth. In this essay. appealing to both the senses of sight and of touch. though his efforts failed again Finally . In describing the activities outside her window on a September morning. The author was touched by his helplessness . Above. death is stronger than I am Therefore . she says that “the earth was pressed flat and gleamed with moisture” where it had been turned by a plow (57). and its impact stems from the vigorous language. and inevitable capitulation of every living creature to death. . grammatical sentences.A small moth was trying to get thought the window-pane and one couldn 't help but watching her efforts as they appeared to be impossible .

This is a topic sentence that makes a transition from a discussion of Woolf's view beyond the window to her description of the the moth inside. Woolf tells of a symbol—the moth’s sacrifice— which is a necessity to the consummation of the creative process for artists like her. Woolf sees the moth succeed at righting itself and then. “The moth having righted himself now lay most decently and uncomplainingly composed” (59). She calls the moth a “specimen. she witnesses the moth attempt to move anew but then. Sounding existentialist. fluttering his wings. The “wooden ledge” and the “window sill” are concrete objects. In the end. is both pathetic and dignified—pathetic since death will always triumph despite the stubborn desire to live and dignified when death is stared at winkless. and the actions of the moth that “slipped” and then “fell” while “fluttering” its wings are easily visualized. In "The Death of the Moth. The quotations are integrated into the writer's sentences and are documented. The language shows her close observation and presents a detailed picture: The “hay-colored” wings are both “narrow” and “fringed. like the moth dying nobly on its feet. The writer does not just quote examples of concrete and specific language but emphasizes particular words and phrases to show what is important in the quotations. its descent causing it to fall on its back. The moth “with his narrow hay-colored wings. The language is concrete and specific serving to contrast the futile struggle and his final capitulation of the moth with the vigorous activity beyond the window. effectively illustrating the idea that death has dominion.Turning her attention from this panorama of vitality. Her personal narration brings about the working of the imagination and everything this machination springs from: the ." Virginia Woolf used the narration of one’s personal experience in order to develop the thematic process of creation. The paragraph ends by relating Woolf's use of concrete language to the illustration of her main idea. it moves sluggishly and awkwardly. Woolf’s narration which resembles a conversational speech attempts to present the battle between life and death which. A trial at flight frustrates the moth. “he slipped from the wooden ledge [of the window pane] and fell. After sometime. upon closer inspection. it ceases from moving as its death strikes inescapably. seemed content with life” (57). on to his back on the window sill” (58).” Near death. until the moth struggles to turn itself right by clawing at the air.” creating a visual image and suggesting a tactile sensation with the word “fringed. She tells of a moth flying from one side of a window pane to the other and back. fringed with a tassel of the same colour. Woolf focuses her attention on a simple moth. (note that the words “specific” and “specimen” come from the same Latin root) but she describes him with concrete language.” a general representative of its type. The topic sentence is followed by selected quotations about the appearance and actions of the moth. Just as the moth is dying. until the moth lays down on the window sill in the long run.

" N.” the creative process is completed. artistic or literary.[1] There is also pun intended for the use of the verb compose (to mean the end of the moth’s striving) which may likewise be defined as to create something musical. terrors and anxieties.human aches and happiness. while the death of the grandmother is an event that compels the author to return to his Kiowa community and embrace his Kiowa self. the moth represents the nonstop strivings of the human brain to inchoate something from confusion: in all likelihood an artist’s general plight. north and west of the Wichita Range” which belongs to the Kiowas and which “is where Creation was begun. . the creation of identity. wherein he told his people’s summer reunions in his grandmother’s house. the author heads for the Rainy Mountain to take vigil at his grandmother’s grave after a night of communing with the familiar place that is his home. As she comments on the moth that “lay most decently and uncomplainingly composed. the gossips among women. The moth image is potent enough to assist Woolf into narrating/opening a room on her artistic process. remembrances and experiences. In the end. this time of Momaday’s individual identity inherently tied up to his Kiowa people’s philosophies. Momaday also uses local storytelling and formal scholastic narration besides the personal narration to create a three-voiced narrative of his construction of Kiowa identity. the abrupt awakening of a mind discovering areas of creation never before explored. emotional attachments. the moth being the work of art. The narratives involved in the two essays use the idea of the talking voice[3] to narrate both author’s personal legends.” His journey back home has for a reason a homage to his late grandmother. In contrast. In the process. the movement of intense concepts arising from an artist’s consciousness. there is suggestion of creativity vibrating into life. Through her narration. Like "The Death of the Moth. of eating. and great nocturnal feasts. “[a] single knoll [that] rises out of the plain in Oklahoma. It is noteworthy that while the two essays involved a discussion on death. the process of creation for an artist while for Momaday. the singing and laughter of people. Woolf solely used her conversational speech in developing the theme in The Death of the Moth. The author poetically explored his personal Kiowa world in the latter part of his essay. of laying down with his grandmother as the wind stirred and frogs croaked downriver. The author begins by returning to Rainy Mountain. He told of the time his grandmother was born. Holistically. deepest desires. The first part of The Way to Rainy Mountain has the author narrating the Kiowas’ mythic history using the colloquial storyteller’s voice. Scott Momaday’s "The Way to Rainy Mountain" also involves narration of the personal experience of the author to show the process of creation. This cycle of moth’s life and death is of course symbolic of the creative process in that Woolf manages to provide survival out of a tragedy.” He would also regal with stories of playing outside with cousins. the theme of creation becomes evident: for Woolf. the “frequent prayer meetings. the aforementioned theme of creation gives the death some sterling quality: the death of the moth fulfills the unsettling flowering of the imagination.

" She seems to tell that the moth has the fervent desire to live. the narrative in The Death of the Moth seems to comment on the masculine oppression prevailing in her time and even before which renders the struggles of women—the “moths. and decides that the moth is pathetic. the narrative voice shift to that of a local historian’s. 1890 as the day their faith was killed at the enormous bend of the Washita River. The women attempt to protest the formidable glasswall set by masculine authority.” so to speak—stunted. In the middle part of Momaday’s essay. Woolf’s existential narration reveals her deeper self recognized more in her essays such as "In Search of a Room of One’s Own. The idea of traveling in his essay manifests the important narrative flow of his personal legend. awkward movement brought about by macho bondage. when the narrator tells of the extinct rituals the Kiowas performed when his grandmother was still very young. While Woolf has one dominant existential voice narrating in her essay. Woolf seems. [6] Even the images of the world outside the window—the plowed field. There are setbacks as may be symbolized by the failure to spread their wings (their might). but all these become nothing when one . The Kiowas would remember July 20. The moth is seen as a creature pointlessly attempting to gain freedom it will never approximate.” The Kiowas lived undisturbed as a tribe until they were overthrown by a military trackdown. by the seemingly senseless clawing in the air to be able to right themselves from landing on their spine.” and the mythical voice of Momaday’s Kiowa ancestors handed down their centuries-old oral tradition. Momaday remarkably recreated a journey in a triple narrative style: the colloquial. as only a reprieve of something inescapable to everything with life. It was a dying tradition because buffalo were nowhere to be found. More than the existentialism that Woolf seems to regard her life with as the doom of being secluded by life and her impending decline as a writer would overrun her. She saw it flying helplessly until its inevitable life sacrifice. only to meet the ultimatum of death. Their legend has it that “they entered the world through a hollow log. Their legend boasts of “kinsmen in the night sky” in the embodiment of seven sisters who would comprise the sever stars of the Big Dipper when a tree brought them there to escape their bearmetamorphosed brother. is a perception of life as futile and void. The symbol of the moth batling against death is likened to the feminist movement wherein Woolf is one of the earliest icons. This. translated and transcribed until such time the myth is spoken by the narrator. Even as they are victimized by patriarchy through slim opportunities at proving their intellectual capacities. the formal and the poetic. by the slow. and the demise of which was accelerated by the dispersing tactic of Fort Sill soldiers. The Kiowa Sun Dance involved decapitating a buffalo upon the medicine tree in the Washita River atop Rainy Mountain Creek.[4] The interoral narrative[5] by Momaday develops his intensifying Kiowa identity consciousness because of the mythic and historical bind that connects his present-day narration of memories and self-construction.when “the Kiowas were living the last great moment of their history. the women try to fly to liberate themselves. the black net-like birds gliding midair—spawn an uneasy feeling of gloom.

Death of the Moth As she examines the struggle of a moth trying to achieve something impossible by going through a windowpane to reach the outdoors. but of being intent on a cause. but he does not know that he is simply a moth. he has had a cause for living.Through Momaday’s. Outside forces may be too cruel to infiltrate the Kiowas with modernity. life does not give preference to outer beauty. even to face death in full dignity. Whether he knows he is a drab gray moth or thinks he is a butterfly vibrant with color. Woolf shows the value not of being a moth. it would appear not to be.” and life is not required to take a specific form. the multigeneric narrative voice in The Way to Rainy Mountain sounds just as pure and determined in its creation of the identity.” By pointing out the “beads of life” evident in the lowly moth. however. but a small creature of the world. that he doesn’t hold the right to pass through the window. . It may be that the Kiowas’ golden time has faded away with the assault of a repressive state apparatus that is the military. the moth chooses to live his life through a cause. but their postcolonial tradition lets them survive with nobility. a pure being that was afforded the gift of being “nothing but life. The moth doesn’t see himself—there are no mirrors for him to peer into: the moth could just as easily know he is a butterfly. The moth’s death is to the artist’s crystallized imagination what his grandmother’s demise is to Momaday’s journey to identity-construction. a beautiful creature who would be welcomed into the outside world. Both The Death of the Moth and The Way to Rainy Mountain were able to show parallelisms of cycle of life and death and evidence of constant struggles but. Woolf’s essay has shown how an idea comes alive in an ironic twist of life sacrifice . a passion. Momaday’s ability to sustain the Kiowa in him and the construction of his Kiowa identity by virtue of his evocation of personal myth. and this is ideal for Woolf.” The very fact that Woolf chooses a moth as the primary focus of her observation could be random. both present the thematic process of creation. marginality and other forms of colonization. often despised. but the Kiowas’ preservation of their sanctuary has hardly contaminated the lives of its descendants that include the author. Virginia Woolf sees the moth in a new light. “He was nothing but life. most importantly. Virginia Woolf .realizes the heightened degree of determination to strive. Moths are commonly thought of as dull.” The gray moth is separated from the colorful world outside the window. always thought of as “insignificant. being willing to “dance. and even though it may show itself to be futile in the end. To the present days. Momaday continues the journey of his people’s striving to remain a legendary Kiowa by being a Kiowa himself. history and experience may also qualify as a people’s struggle to keep its culture. gray creatures. Meanwhile. a light that identifies the moth not as insignificant and in demand of pity.

he fears losing the struggle. and fills Woolf with wonder at his own ability to exert “so great a force. struggling to enter our paradises. those we either place upon ourselves or those which we feel society has placed upon us. however. why not die dancing? In dancing upon the windowsill. She labels this particular brand of day moth with "zest in enjoying his meagre" life. the insect makes a simple mistake and as she describes struggles against death itself. If he shall die anyway. opens her to the beauty of the moth. willing to keep pressing on towards his goal. instead. but he knows not what. Woolf admires the sense of purpose in the moth. the moth. By helping him revive himself with the tip of her pencil. The moth knows he has no control over death (“O yes. the window too is symbolic of a broader meaning.” The moth’s purpose is pure. He does not lie down and die. death is stronger than I am”). and Woolf admires its simplicity. dancing in the arms of death. The simplicity of his fight. through his dancing. He knows there is something blocking his entry into his paradise. Throughout narrating her study of the animal she goes about it in a "romantic voice". Woolf depicts the window as the boundaries we all recognize. She examines this struggling insect and compares it with the night moths at the beginning of the story.” one whose struggles should not touch her. Moths that twist about taking on existence and that are persistent even to the point of death. and to the beauty of the struggle. knows no society. As quickly as she is captivated by this vein effort. doesn’t allow the pane of glass separating him from his ideal world to manipulate his life. When she lifts a pencil to help him. the purity of his struggle—the very nature of the fact he is willing to dance in the face of what is inevitably his death—is what Woolf so admires in the moth. The moth. but to admire him in his simple existence and courage to dance upon the windowpane that brings his death.Woolf tells of a “queer feeling of pity” for the moth. allowing him to live his own struggle. the moth stands up against his formidable foe. This is worse than death for the moth. which Woolf values so dearly is her simplified symbol of being. he continues to struggle. Woolf is captured by the efforts of the moth and watches as it eagerly moves about in the window. knows no self-limitation. germinating from the “helplessness of his attitude”—she originally sees him as an “insignificant creature. Woolf would take away the most important part of the moth’s life. But the struggle of the moth in his valiant battle against “so mean an antagonist” (death) opens Woolf’s eyes. He is willing to fight this cause anyway. what is special about the moth to Woolf is that he does not necessarily see the boundaries of the window. Just as we all are like the moth. he seemed to say. Describing its movements and how it repeats itself over and over again. for the beauty of his success would not be the success itself. The moth. The moth does not fear death. . and the moth’s ability to overcome the living’s fear of death is what draws Woolf to him and causes her not to pity the “insignificant” moth. continues to begin “futile attempts” to conquer the unseen “enemy” against which he fought. she withdraws it. And. 1) WHY DID THE MOTH MAKE SUCH AN IMPACT ON WOOLF? A "bead of pure life". but that he won his struggle toward success. yet he never gives up his struggle. his simple focus on living in whichever way he can.

Indeed. and move and try to go farther or die trying is the "fluttering" "attitude" of survival. “garnished”. But life didn't stop for them. Maybe she saw in its death a realization that life can't be lived from afar. shows her deepest sympathies. dying quickly thereafter. “It was as if someone had taken a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers. She put aside her tasks to discover a truth in the moth's struggle. a lot like how Moses traveled across the desert for 40 years.following this battle. Stronger her than life too. And both were denied it. Woolfe uses diction like “vigorous”. that someday. we die. or working the fields season after season. perhaps. The world before her. This might have dawned on her as she refrained from assisting the moth with a pencil. death. wasting its time. she too was trapped within that house with life waiting to be lived outside. she saw how similar the world was to this moth's life. But it got nowhere. The outside world was reverent as the moth died. by displaying the quick end of her moth. living like a dying spark flying from a fire. Woolf. Woolfe declares that her “sympathy” was “on the side of life”. Life will attempt to keep up. such as fluttering across a window. Woolfe also portrays the moth as a tiny “bead of pure life” and as the vessel that the “enormous energy of the world” has been thrust into. Perhaps she realized the same was true for the world of incessant work all around her. This personifies the very resistance for life that mankind goes about every day. death is "the enemy in which" life "struggles". and that wearing the jewelry is better than looking at it through the display window. Both the Moth and Moses had a promiseland of sorts held before them. It traveled for a prolonged time across the world which it knew. Perhaps it was all of these. 3) WHY DOES VIRGINIA WOOLFE USE THE MOTH AND ITS DEATH AS THE SUBJECT OF HER ESSAY? Virginia Woolfe valued the life of the moth as evidenced by her tone and the diction she used to describe the moth. as it doesn't for the late relative's family. It fights equally as hard. so to speak. or something else entirely. Moth's inherit desire to subsist. Maybe she saw herself in that moth. Wolfe is fascinated with the moth’s small shape and its capability to have life in such a small creature. a “mean antagonist” with “power of such magnitude” to further emphasize the moth’s value as a symbol of life’s struggle against death 4) WHY WOULD WOLFE CHOOSE A MOTH TO CONVEY LIFE IS DELICATE AND QUICK RATHER THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE? It is clear Wolfe sees the moth’s life as valuable because he relates it to every human’s life. and “marvelous” when describing the moth’s outward appearance. and stand again. Or. Woolf recognizes that "death is stronger" than the moth. We realize that we don't get forever. that living is more than just killing time with frivolous acts. Woolfe even illustrates the antithesis. Perhaps Woolf made a biblical connection like this. in plain sight. 2) The moth may have impacted Woolf because of how its death relates to the rest of the world. Ending on the grim note of how short lived one's existence could be. to Wolfe. By contrast. much like we are with a relative on their death bed. The moth kept busy. had set it dancing and zig–zagging to show .

so does life for every human at the end of the day when the “work in the fields stop.. She wants you to understand that the moth’s struggles aren’t just the moth’s and that they are the same thing people go through all the time. “THIS MINUTE WAYSIDE TRIUMPH OF SO GREAT A FORCE OVER SO MEAN AN ANTAGONIST FILLED ME WITH WONDER." "enormous energy of the world. Without it.” his death was now strange too." leads the reader to believe Woolf envies the energy of small creature. Wolfe uses this rhetorical device to relate the moth to every other human and the world around us." Virginia Woolf uses conceits and metaphors to convey the value of the life of the moth.” 5) EXPLAIN WHY WOOLF JUXTAPOSES THE QUALITIES OF THE MOTH'S ENERGY THROUGHOUT.composed. Woolf uses imagery to convey the moth's life "with a kind of pity" and empathy for the moth as it dances in front of the window. the moth’s life ends at “midday. Woolf's comparison of the moth's energy to that of "pure. because just as the moth’s life had been so “strange. In Wolfe’s eyes. Virginia Woolf creates the image of this moth's life and the traits of its power by juxtaposing it's significance in the window. Woolf envies the moth's "pure life" due to her own obligations though she believes there is something "pathetic" about the moth. Wolfe watches as the moth struggle’s to pick himself back up again but then realizes the moth’s life is done. Wolfe realizes the delicacies in a smaller creature’s life and relates it to larger life. the moth's "zest" slowly dwindled away to nothing. life doesn’t last forever and it ends quickly. just in a smaller ratio. By doing this she presents humanity. The moth’s life and he himself is smaller in comparison to a human. the moth. especially when the "approach of death" came. This approach to death was joined with "stillness and quiet" in the fields rather than the commotion that had been going on before. Commotion is what this moth fed off of for his energy. in view of the writer.” Just as the life around him had stopped. until he lay "decently. Ironically. the moth is a micromodel of the human life. and the window as the small . so did his own life. While watching the moth. We see doors open in front of us and they turn out to just be mirages and we smack our head on the window. 7) EXPLAIN THE PARALLELISM BETWEEN THE MOTH AND THE NARRATOR DURING THE PASSAGE AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS TO THE READER. In "The Death of the Moth." 6) IN WOOLF’S ESSAY SHE DESCRIBES THE MOTHS DEATH AS A SORT OF TRIUMPH BY the true nature of life. Woolf sees how "frail" this moth's life is. and the work in the field had stopped. We fall flat on our back wondering how and why this could happen to us. Just like the moth’s struggles ended and he was soon dead.” WHY DOES SHE DESCRIBE THE MOTH’S DEATH AS IF IT WERE A TRIUMPH OVER SOME UNKNOWN ANTAGONIST? Virginia Woolf uses a moth as her metaphor because she wants the reader to feel how the moth feels.” Wolfe describes the moth’s small gurth to show how intricate life actually is.

The narrator reflects on these things as it watches the moth dancing around on the window. The small moth. The moth goes through a basic life cycle from being young. When you lead such a simple life. Woolf looks upon the moth with a sense of pity that its life is coming to an end. although seemingly insignificant expressed so much "zest in enjoying his meagre" life. as we all do in our nature. but what an impact it can have. Humans have so many things to worry about that in reality. she understands how fragile life is because she now has the responsibility of two lives. "The Death of the Moth" between the moth and the narrator. 8) HOW DO HUMANS LEARN THE VALUE OF LIFE? Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth" describes in its entirety the struggle of humanity against the inescapable hand of death. This tiny "bead of pure life" is putting up more of a fight than mammals a million times its size with a heart a thousand times as big. whimsical words to express the the moths "dance". Although she has just met this little creature. are concerned only with living and breathing. weary and tired of life and then eventually dying. finally growing old.brief frame of life we have. 10) WHY DOES WOOLF VIEW THE MOTH'S LIFE WITH PITY BUT VIEW HIS STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN HIS LIFE WITH RESPECT? Humans learn the value of life through simplicity. and yet he cannot help but envy the moth's relentless attempts to combat an indestructible enemy. Woolf illustrates her element of life and the beauty and wonder it emits. Animals such as the moth. but no one has told this moth that it cannot fight with every breath in its body. Woolf analyzes the last efforts of survival of a moth. She sees that life is usually undervalued until the final battle with . hitting bumps and struggles that must be overcome along the way. on the other hand. The narrator pities the moth but can relate to its confusion and learning experiences. Just as the narrator has started out immature and inexperienced and has become an experienced and wise human being. This is in complete contrast to Woolf who watches the moth struggle with a sense of pity and mild respect. As Woolf describes the moth with light. it gives the reader the sense of their own life and how short it is in comparison to the world's life. When we take a step back from our hectic lives and reflect on simple joys of life. Woolf begins to value the meaning of life amid this moth's own struggles in a desperate attempt to live and be free. 9) HOW DOES THE IMAGERY DESCRIBED THROUGHOUT THE STORY EFFECT THE TONE OF THE SHORT STORY? Virginia Woolf creates an undeniable parallelism in her story. energetic age. In this way. the mother realizes that she will stop at nothing to protect the new life she created. the value of life is not something they truly get to understand until they are about to die. scared and inexperienced to transforming into a confident. Sometimes life is more precious to those who understand its value more than others. we can then see the full value in life. When a child is born. Death is a part of life. life begins to have more meaning.

or anyone's life in general. we have so many things on our minds through the day. humans cannot learn the value of life until they learn the value of death. let alone dying. In a world where we can only value something when it' s threatened to be taken away from us. Honestly. if you survive the fall. Virginia Wolf describes the life of the moth as "pathetic". we continue to climb. Yet. the moth won't ever get another chance. Rarely does one kindly welcome death. Woolf unconsciously begins to see her own life flash before her eyes. busy. she developed almost sympathetic feeling and interest in it. It is not until the moth dies that the narrator realizes that death takes away life no matter how "insignificant" the moth's life was. His time has passed. John Steinbeck once said "death is but an intellectual matter". That does not stop us.death. We are faced with multiple life threatening situations everyday and still continue our daily routines. and was so fasinated such a tiny insect could make her so intrigued. but very few ever truly live. humans cannot truly learn and cherish the value of life. Human life can be known but never understood. even if it is as "insignificant" as a little moth. is not a world where an actual lesson can be learned. superficial life around her is temporarily non-existent and the value of life is somewhat understood because she just witnessed a creature living and dancing. and in watching it vigorously moving and fluttering starts to view it as more than just an insect "underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain". life cannot be understood with out death to enforce its importance. 12) HOW DOES THE IMAGERY OF THE MOTH PARALLEL TO WOLFE'S CONCEPT OF DEATH? Wolfe's idea towards humanity is that we are all capable of living but cannot simply grasp the abstract thought of death.therefore. and when it began to struggle. Then witnessed the . We lean back in our chairs with knowledge that we may fall. watching the excitement of the world pass by. 13) WHY DOES VIRGINIA WOOLF EMPHASIZE THE MOTH BEING "INSIGNIFICANT" THROUGHOUT THE PASSAGE? Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth" is a prime example of the tiniest things humans partake in to deeply think and value our own lives. We stumble on stairs. Our lives are based and surrounded by mundane tasks that leave us comfortable and passive. one moment we are fluttering around enjoying life's excitement. That is. The ongoing. The moment Woolf started viewing the moth as so. and feels like she must help. Yet. We do not value the live of others enough to truly cherish our own. Woolf describes the way of the moth to be "marvelous as well as pathetic " which is exactly why the moth is so interesting. Once it was seen as an actual life. The moth only flutters around the window. the next we are struggling to stand. Just like humans don't understand the importance of light until we experience the dark. The moth struggles to live because it is a natural instinct. The narrator now understands how quickly life passes. 11) WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT IN WOOLF'S CHOICE OF THE TITLE BEING "THE DEATH OF THE MOTH" INSTEAD OF "THE LIFE OF THE MOTH"? Humans learn the value after they understand and grasp the concept of death.

not human beings. and significance. when Woolf observes it. 15) WHAT MADE LIFE SO STRANGE. not people. and some even be lucky enough to experience such things as see a life end in order to really value. life will cease. simply numbers. and a tiny glimmer of hope. Casualties are viewed as numbers. 14)WHAT DOES WOOLF SEE AS THE PURPOSE OF MANS STRUGGLES IN LIFE In "The Death of the Moth". being the only human in this story. and "insignificant" was merely a way that life is viewed today. was watched with curiosity. learned that life is a cycle and one day. If a moth has not been discovered by humans as Virginia Woolf shows. By truly realizing these attributes. then that person dies a number. she focuses on its unyielding fight for life. Although the moth is a frail and weak creature. Just as the previous "animation" remained when the day became "still and quiet". The fact that the moth was forgotten. Although the moth is a very simple form of life. The essay explains how Woolf felt wonder after watching a moth struggle for its life before her eyes.insignificant moth struggle to it's death in only a short time span. If a person is not known to ourselves. This is shown in Virginia Woolf's essay "The Death of a Moth" by examining the author's emotions while watching an "insignificant little creature" face death. The "helplessness" of the moth's ritual of death. she can compare herself to the moth and come to value life. AND WHY WAS DEATH JUST AS STRANGE? The narrator. Woolf links all forms of life together by stating that "death is stronger" than any of us and we all face a common fate. . 16) WHY DOES WOLF FIND SO MUCH INTEREST IN DEATH AND THE SPEED AT WHICH IT CAN TAKE AWAY LIFE? Humans learn the value of life simply by seeing the effects of death. Humans are able to learn the value of life by realizing that all creatures are merely "forms of energy" and are all forced to deal with similar struggles. one minute. and think about their existance. the impact that one makes on the world lasts forever once the physical body has vanished. one hour. Virginia Woolf compares the life and the struggles of the delicate moth to the realities that all humans must face. Humans must take time to live life slowly at times. Woolf can relate to it's struggle to survive. By being exposed to this final stand. Woolf comments on the strength and peculiarity of death. she seems almost perplexed by the concept of death itself. they are simply another worthless nuisance that passed from this earth. and cherish their own lives. At the end of the essay. not personalities. The insensitivity of the moth's death correlates directly to the way that humans outside of our personal circles are viewed.

and Woolf uses that extended metaphor for human life. and triumphs we can learn only a small percentage of such a great gift. Eventually. the moth is released from its struggle to keep on living. most humans take life for granted and unless faced with struggles we wouldn't be able to value life. the moth does right itself. they are going to die one day anyway or they could go ahead and succumb to death. she committed suicide. even if indeed. Instead of allowing the moth to struggle further. beings that keep on fighting the fight that is living. "death is stronger" than the moth. Through struggles. yet they still keep on fighting. 19) WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND WOOLF'S CONTINUOUS REFERENCES TO ENERGY? Humans learn the value of life. pathetic".emphasized how precious the gift of life is. but alas. Also. Unlike the moth in this story. The narrator expresses this view clearly when she decides not to help the moth get up with her pencil. thinking that there is hope. saying that the moth's life "… appeared a hard fate" and that "…his zest in enjoying his meagre opportunities to the full. In observation of the moth Woolf is awaken to the . Whatever or whomever is making their life horrible can no longer torture them if their victim is no longer living. loss. At least though. Through this short story explaining each minuscule struggle that the moth attempted to make. every breath. EXPLAIN THE LESSOn Virginia Woolf's short story " The Death of the Moth" describes the fight that this moth fought just for the gift of life that many humans take advantage of. but until faced with the loss of someone close in our lives or the risk of even loosing our own. Like many people who are suicidal. Life is the most precious gift that we could be given. By dying. and this implies that the moth's death was not in vain. they would no longer have to carry on. All three of these ways are exemplified in Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth". and the fact that the moth is going to die eventually. and every second he had left in his short lifetime. likely because she had a very troubled life herself. it still dies. should be pitied because their struggle is "pathetic". through experience. they see death as the ultimate way to avoid their unhappy lives. who valued every small step. Woolf believes that the moth's struggle should be pitied. but we learn to value life more. From Woolf's perspective. it is hard for any human being to imagine the immensity of such a gift. through observation.17) DOES THE MOTH'S TRIUMPH BEFORE IT DIES SUGGEST THAT WOOLF STILL HAD SOME HOPE REGARDING BEING ABLE TO GET THROUGH LIFE? Virginia Woolf describes the moth's death as if it was a triumph over some unknown antagonist because the antagonist is the struggle and pain of living itself. and a year after writing "The Death of the Moth". and through death. the moth reaches its goal of righting itself before it dies. she probably thinks she is doing the moth a favor by allowing it to die and to let the natural process of death occur. 18) DO YOU THINK A LESSON COULD HAVE BEEN LEARNED FROM THIS STORY? IF SO. though small every step and final breath the moth took.

yet so minute in appearance shares the same common desire to have . struggling "vainly" for time. Woolf infers that humans only begin to learn the value of life through the “oncoming doom” of its loss. the protagonist is clearly the personification of death and while he could have helped the moth to escape or even help it up he knew that death was inevitable. The moth. overcome by its weakness caused Woolf to sympathize and have compassion on it. However. Woolf observes “enormous energy” in the life of a simple moth. This doom is all encompassing and must be accepted as inevitable. and savoring the "value and desire to keep" life as long as one is living. it is not until “the approach of death” that she begins to understand how helpless the moth and life is to death. for life shows "the true nature of life". 21) HOW DOES WATCHING THE MOTH CHANGE THE PROTAGONISTS VIEWS ON HIS SURROUNDINGS? Virginia Woolf gives evidence to how short and sweet life can be in the simple form of a moth. She herself marvels at life. that barrier of time. 20) HOW CAN LIFE NOT BE LOOKED UPON HELPLESSLY KNOWING DEATH IS INEVITABLE? Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” provides a prime example of an account of “a tiny bead of pure life”. however. Such observation births sentiments of pity for the moth's "helplessness" moves Woolf from an "indifferent" spectator to an engaged participant. that we are mortals fighting. She then speculates on how easy it is to “forget all about life”. though wanting to help. and pure.realization that even though the moth "was so small and simple" its struggle for freedom. WHAT DOES THE MOTH SHARE WITH US HUMANS? Humans can search deep into the meaning and value of life just by simply observing a moth "fluttering" across a windowpane. "meaning to help him" she realized the inevitable "approach of death". The protagonist though the whole thing sees the moth fail at trying to escape the confides of the home but simply sits back and watches the moth continue to struggle with the simple task. Pushing. As a personification of death he saw the "zeal" and "light" that the moth seemed to be filled with and watching that changed his entire spectrum on everything else around him. I believe that Woolf made the moth (which represented life) purposefully weaker and smaller than the protagonist because life should be full of a "vital life" while. but does not truly place value upon it until death conquers it. Seeing the "tiny bead of pure life". it is not until doom lurks that humans cherish the barest form of life: unadulterated. simple. ramming against that limitation. "dancing". Proving sometimes the smallest and simplest moments can reveal profound and complex realities. however. The moth flutters around the window panes with "zest" and "enormous energy" even though it might not be completely aware of it but all its attempts are in vain. 22) EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMS SO SMALL. Through Woolf's experience of the moth's death she sees that life is precious though fleeting and must be spent wisely enjoying life. so insignificant compared to the rest of the world like ourselves.

we would not appreciate what is given to us. the way a child might. Humans must learn to appreciate the little things to help us overcome the real challenge which is life itself. Let us hold on to the "bead of pure life" that we all share because in the end "death is stronger" than our bodies but not our spirits. while children (and the month) just simply go with the flow.meaning in this world as any other being. the way it enjoys the short time the moth has by "dancing and zig-zagging" about the room acting like a child running around for no apparent reason. The moth almost acts as childish figure. If the moth would of just accepted the fact that there was no way to get inside. Unfortunately though adults relate less to the moth. 23) WHY DID VIRGINIA WOLF PUT THE PENCIL BACK DOWN? Humans learn the value of life by. 24) WHAT DOES THE AUTHOR LEARN FROM THE MOTH AND THE WAY IT ACCEPTED ITS DEATH? The moth shares the ability to enjoy life to its fullest like some humans. are capable of doing. So let us dream and desire no matter what the cause. Although so tiny. The month finds the stress of flying through the closed window. Perhaps they exist just to be an example to us that even when we seem to be lost in our lives just as the moth repeatedly crashes into the same "windowpane. Whether it be a horse plowing a field or a man struggling to have his name remembered in this world we all can learn to keep our "wings fluttering" by observing the amount of determination a moth shows just to stay aflight. The moths’ challenge was to go through the window. She knew that death is not something anyone can . “flying from one corner” to another. just as the moth's wings cease to flutter we will all come to an end on this earth and the "struggle" will be over. If humans were to never have any struggles in life. a heart that perseveres. even if it is just to fly in freedom. All the sudden. no complications. the moth has it's own purpose in this world. but it seems unfazed. going through obstacles." we should never stop pursuing to acheive. The moth tried as hard has it could. adults stress about obstacles that overcome their lives. the he would have had an appreciation for the window and the obstacle it presented. "The same energy" for life that drives every species on this earth is present in a body as tiny as a fingernail. mainly children. The moth just lives life. and adjusts to his new discovery. 25) WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE AMOUNT OF ACTIVITY OUTSIDE? As soon as Virginia realized the moth's struggle was "the approach of death" she laid her pencil down.just a "tiny bead" that has the heart of a stallion. The moth is full of life.

Placing the pencil down is a display of how people are aware of death. and even as the moth’s life slipped away. 26) IN YOUR OPINION WHY WOULD VIRGINIA WOOLF USE A MOTH INSTEAD OF ANYTHING ELSE TO SYMBOLIZE US AND DEATH? The actual paper it's self was an examination of life and inevitable death. rested. seeking a way out. as the moth lay there isolated and dieing. Woolf seems to be suprised that something so small and insignificant can possess life. 28) WHY DOES WOOLF FEEL A SENSE OF AWE WHEN OBSERVING THE MOTH? WHY DOES SHE REFER TO IT AS A "PURE BEAD" OF LIFE? Woolf first raises the pencil because she pities the moth’s struggle.” But when she realizes that death is gripping him. Woolf begins to see a connection between the moth and humans. At first. Animals do not truly have a concept of ‘death’ as they live. We are helpess to the inevitability of it. it refused to stop attempting to right itself.the ‘insignificant’ bug responded with a ‘uncomplainingly composted’ posture as it faced death. much like children. This struggle with death is extremely personal and can not be dealt with by another form of life. She expects the moth to die that way.” If she had helped the moth onto its feet. it continues to struggle to evade death. after managing to achieve its goal. she knows that her efforts will be futile. Even as Woolf realized and accepted the moths inevitable end. Death overcomes everything that is living even a "bead of life". as it fell on its back. the moth. Yet. turned upside down with his legs “struggl[ing] vainly. But just like the moth we try to struggle with it. and she calls this his “last protest.control no matter how "pure" a life they lead and that no one has any control over the "struggle" of death. the moth was then filled with the desire to get off its back. The dead moth rests in a “composed” manner rather than awkwardly and pitifully upside down.” She figures “it [is] useless to do anything. However. It fluttered from one corner to another. the moth had been completely determined to get through the window. the “helplessness of his attitude. the urge to complete that ‘goal’ running higher than anything else. So that little insignificant moth and us share a bond more powerful then most of us fail to realize. and the acceptance of it. The weakened position of having one’s belly exposed it something most creatures do not enjoy. They are driven by one instinct after another. it would not have “triumph[ed]” and died with dignity. Virginia realized the moth struggle was its own and that is why she put down the pencil. 27) WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COMPARING THE STILLED MOVEMENTS OF THE ANIMALS OUTSIDE AND THE FRANTIC MOVEMENTS OF THE MOTH INSIDE? Though Virginia Woolf had picked up the pencil in an attempt to assist the moth in getting off its back. That as much as we try to avoid or delay death that it will eventually going to get us.” She is taken by surprise when the moth rights himself after all. it realized what its fate was to be. then continued its’ ‘dance’. as she watched his struggle. and don’t allow it to prevent them from living life. she realized what was going to happen. . The fact that the moth achieved this peace on its own is what makes it so significant to Woolf and to the story.

but this should not handicap our lives. this was the moth's white flag. much like that of the human generation. Woolf learns that the no matter how hard the moth twitched its legs. we are in no way regretful of anytime spent. and motionless. the moth is worn out and finally stops for its final seconds of its life. shriveled. The longer it tried to right itself the more apparent. It lacked acceptance. no matter the character. However it did not give in but continued it's struggles until it completed it's task and got onto it's feet. exhausted legs. no matter the nature. just like the moth's life. It is almost as the moth knew it was going to die. No matter the efforts the moth gave. yet failed to do so each and every attempt. especially when the moth relaxed its perfectly crafted down and feathers. This little moth didn't give up in the face of inevitable destruction. The moth vigorously tried to lift off multiple times. and tiny. his surrender to death. but not strong enough to limit life. a peaceful acceptance. there was no escape from the overwhelming death that was suffocating him. The moth knew that his death was inescapable. Death is inevitable. cold. It had the lively energy and will to keep going until the end. 31) WHY DO YOU THINK VIRGINIA WOLF WAS SO MESMERIZED BY THE MOTH "DANCING" IN THE SUN? The author learned the acceptance of struggle and defeat from the timely death of the moth. to the moth and Virgina Wolf. but instead accepted the reality of death and sought to live out the rest of it's life to it's full capacity. 30) WHAT DOES THE THE MOTH'S FIGHT REPRESSENT? In 'The Death of the Moth" Virginia Woolf states that the moth had "given up" and said to itself "death is stronger than I am". it was more of a peace treaty. 32) HOW DOES THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MOTH RELATE TO VIRGINIA WOOLF’S OWN FEELINGS TOWARD THE VALUE OF LIFE AND DEATH? . Like the moth's life. Death is strong. The death of the moth signified an importance of the ability to keep pushing until the very end.29) WHY IS VIRGINIA WOLF SO MESMERIZED BY THE TRIALS OF THE MOTH? The little moth showed obvious signs of death as it attempted to get off it's back. yet ready to accept death in all of it has to offer. no matter the outcome. Witnessing "this minute wayside triumph" of the moth. and no urge to keep fighting. no one human can nor will escape death. When the twithching stopped. yet make life a "dance. yet made every possible attempt to flap its wings. So that when our time is up. that it's efforts were futile. but unlike a bloody war. the human should not look toward the future into death. This acceptance was due to the fact that the moth had no more fight. the moth that was once dancing on the window pane is now lying on its back. Woolf states that the moth had given " gigantic efforts" and that these efforts "moved" her. filled Virginia Wolf with "wonder" and encouraged her accept the reality of death and use it to spur herself on to do all that is possible in life. but that got drained quickly. Blocked by complications. death was uncooperative with its "dancing" and stood firm on the decision to eliminate the moth.

doesn’t let its last moments of breath go to waste at all. To her surprise. the moth had done all it could. Woolf had already given up on the moth seeing as its struggles would end soon regardless. once you’re gone there is no coming back. by Woolf imagining the moth saying. She then learns that even though death is unavoidable. that no matter our futlie efforts.Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of a Moth” wraps the motif about the undeniable strength of willpower and the inevitability of physical death into a single “frail” and “diminutive” moth. However the moth. Woolf understands the moth was not fighting death out of fear but out of the joy and pleasures of being alive so that when it finally died it laid silently composed. life is extremely delicate. The sudden drastic change of the zealous moth into a lifeless creature shows the great extinguishing effect death has on life: with death there are no second chances. there is an end. By watching the moth struggle to free itself from the confinement of the window. would desire and constantly try to resume its “dance”. 33) HOW IS WOOLF ELABORATING SO IN DEPTH ON HOW THE MOTH STRUGGLES TO ESCAPE. while the rest of her passage is dedicated to describing its energy-fiiled and full life. unlike what Woolf may have done. she believes that since death is “stronger” than any tangible force or manmade creation it would be senseless to fight against such overwhelming power. Woolf emphasizes the quick death of the moth by only using two brief sentence to allow us to capture the image of it becoming "relaxed" and growing "stiff". that though life itself is a constant challenge of ups and downs. Woolf’s pity then turns to sympathy because the sight of the energetic moth has turned into stone. She states the moth’s efforts as if they were a waste of time. who approaches evident death. she too learns to accept the circle of life. Her thoughts on the moth’s attempts underlie her own true emotions toward death. 34) HOW DOES WOOLF JUXTAPOSE THE LIFE OF THE MOTH AND THE DEATH OF THE MOTH? . life is too sweet and temporary to easily give up on. the moth’s willpower refuses to succumb to death so long as it still had a chance to live. The moth. AID THE READER IN FEELING PITY FOR THE MOTH AND THE HELPLESSNESS OF LIFE? Virginia Woolf goes into detailed descriptions using diction and imagery to show that when looked upon closely. Death is inevitable. fighting to stay alive no matter how pointless its efforts would result in."death is stronger than I am". unable to enjoy anything any longer and settled into a perpetual state of rest. stirring “pity” within Woolf’s heart. An image that can relate to this passage is the ouroboros. tries “vigorously” to fly once more. The moth may have been physically defeated but its willpower proved to be victorious. Woolf does not understand why the moth. instead of accepting its demise. Life is helpless. Accepting its fate. even calling them “pathetic”. Woolf sees that even before death the moth must “right itself” so that it may rest in peace “uncomplainingly”. Yet the vibrant “bead of life” became “stiff” and “composed”. although beaten down and tired. its chance at life. indeed the moth knew it was not stronger than death but had the pleasures of “dancing” one final time. Woolf learns how pathetic life actually is.

but other human beings. gloomy event. In the beginning. even claiming that the moth was content. the world is "indifferent". she comes to the realization that the moth had truly “lived”. Woolf details the slow process of the dying Moth. mourned and revered. rather than fight it. She realizes when one’s time is up. and in the process. In the "Death of the Moth". This revelation brings her to respect death. it means nothing to the rest of the world. “marvelous” to not only Woolf. and escaping the clutches of doom and despair. the moth stands for the tragedy of man's will to live. when she witnesses the demise of the moth. Woolf begins to realize that our grandiose image of dying. As Woolf focuses on the “so simple form of energy”. being watched. and its superiority over her. and how it is not only futile to fight death. Woolf watches the moth being crushed under the weight of death's strength. believing ourselves conquerors. and where the earth stands still to pay tribute to yet another brave soul embarking on an adventure into the glorious life beyond.The moth made a huge impact on Virginia Woolf because she realized how simple and inevitable death really is. 36) WHY CAN VIRGINIA WOOLF NOT HELP BUT FEEL PITY FOR THE MOTH. This moth’s “zest” in employing his paltry opportunities allows for Woolf to see the world from a different angle. 35) WHAT DOES THE MOTH TRULY SIGNIFY? Virginia Woolf understands. the sheer futility of life is revealed in all its glory. one where “the approach of death” allows her to embrace and cherish life. only then. accepting its inevitability. after persevering to the very last flutter. and not willing to "[attend] to anything". they are "content with life". we raise ourselves up. however "frail" and "diminutive" moths that fly by day may be. When the moth died. Only one truth seems to hold true. "impersonal". if only for a day. a revelation that reminds Woolf of humanity's fragility in the face of death. after having rested for a moment in the sun. it is better to embrace death. Prior to the moth’s death. happiness. and for one last brief moment. the moth gives itself up to death. The moth had “decently” and “uncomplainingly” accepted that “death is stronger”. it is in fact beneficiary for us to accept death when death is due. trying with all his might to break free of death's grasp. It seems too easy to “forget all about life” unless one is on the brink of death. Yet we keep on fighting. and in the next we are withering in its light. But alas. fighting death at every corner. For one moment we are dancing in the sun. In a last act of sheer will. the rest of the world goes on living. such as this “insignificant little creature” had done. WHAT MAKES THE MOTH PITIFUL? In witnessing the moth's last fleeting moments. Woolf recognizes this is the same for all living things. However. Life is futile. ironically ends up . where we are at the center of the world. when one dies. the Moth was "stiff" and "dancing" awkwardly. in that brief moment. Outside. for death will always win. Here. Woolf had imagined death to be a sad. the “pathetic” and “pitiful” creature that awaits a tragic fate. Our quest for life over death is not met with triumphant cheers. but with a cold shoulder. the day is sunny and upbeat. the “tiny bead of pure life”. showing the insignificance of the moth. only to realize that it will end in failure. and he was complacent with the idea of death. can one take pleasure in the simplicities: life. Woolf experiences a profound revelation. is that our view of death is wrong. a concept that some humans have yet to discover. freedom. And by observing the flailing moth.

The moth shows how a tiny creature can still take on giant obstacles and never quitting. Wolf observes the moths extreme determination to overcome its obstacles like most humans attempt to do but unlike many humans when the moth failed he still showed the same determination that it did the first time and keep on trying until that obstacle becomes the death of it. Wolf watches as the moth embraces death and even though the moth is starring death in the face it is still enjoying the limited time it has Left by "dancing and zig-zagging" around the room. Death. and all things that experience the wonders of life.. deny the truth."righted" and most "decently and uncomplainingly composed". So in saying that. Humans. 39) WHY DO WE STRUGGLE TO KEEP OURSELVES ALIVE JUST AS THE MOTH DOES. who believe that they dominate this world. 38) WHAT LESSONS DOES THE MOTH TEACH THE READER ABOUT LIFE? Virginia wolf watches this moth as it is struggling to try and get through the window "flying from one corner to another" and there is no way through. Woolf reaches a epitome with this final observation of the dying moth. so death was now as strange" meaning no matter which situation we are in . and search for the fountain that promises forever young as long as we live. where our bodies finally give in to eternal peace and our souls are purified by innocence. The moth shows Wolf courage. They also carry on as if each day is a given right instead of a given gift. where one must listen to the fateful truth and humble our egos as we confess that death will triumph. unless stricken with the fear of having seen death through trembling eyes. There comes a time in every living creature's life. The moth shows her that giving up is not the answer to any problems and that even in the face of death you should continue to fight. Indeed. In accepting death and ceasing to struggle. take life for granted. strength.. and determination by fighting death in its last moments and trying to survive. by the moth accepting it's death. life or death.” Even the invincible man is weaker than the destiny waiting for us all. he reflects upon his own life and realizes that “death is stronger than I am. As the author watches the moth's slow struggle to death. life is no longer futile. they both are similar in the way that their purpose is a mystery. as we take our final breath in this world and take our first step into eternity. but death is not something that can be conquered. Although the moth is small it has a large impact on the Authors view on life as she sees the "tiny bead" full of life "fluttering" around and attempting to conquer the obstacles of life just like humans. We can fight through pain. but is instead fulfilled. She compares death to life as well. Whether an intelligent human or an insignificant moth. to survive. 37) WHY DOES THE AUTHOR CHOOSES THE TONE SHE CHOSE AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE PASSAGE? All creatures. we both fight against death but share the fact that death is inevitable. are greeted by a final breath. EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW DEATH IS SOMETHING INEVITABLE? Virginia Woolf learns how both humans and moths share the same struggle . saying how "just as life had been strange a few minutes before. both the moth and Virginia are able .

our struggle may be just as insignificant as the moth's struggle to inevitable death. the “thread of vital light” became visible.” Every life has and end and a beginning. Woolf puts the moth in a role that represents life so that we can compare the two. riches. 41) WHAT PRIMARY EMOTION IS CONVEYED THROUGH WOOLF'S INTERPRITATION OF THE MOTH'S DEATH? The reason why the moth left such a profound effect on Woolf can be analyzed through several examples of the document. the moth's encounter with death slowly revealed the basis of Wolfe's psyche regarding death." And in death. A "bead of pure life". The moth.” the moth has struggled at the end where She “now lay most decently and uncomplainingly. describing the short life of a day moth represents the commentary on humans’ life. “The struggle was over. throughout Woolf's narrative. We learn that how we struggle through “work in the fields. It is inaccurately addressing the precarious and subtle relationship between life and death." and "simple." in life." and "composed. shows us how life can be pure yet how hard it is to get through. that "nothing [has] any chance in death. can escape death. She is relating that to energy in the real world. 40) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE WOOLF’S ATTITUDE TOWARD DEATH? Virginia Woolf shows how human learn the values of life by comparing us to the moth. strongest. Because the moth struggled so voraciously against it's death. the moth appears "decent. As Woolf describes. to Woolf. became slowly more significant in Woolf's eyes. metaphorically analyzing the human attitude towards death as understand that neither life or death have a true and obvious purpose for living creatures. emotions of sympathy in Woolf are roused. As the moth epically struggles against death. At first described as "pathetic. Every human in this world no matter if you’re the most powerful. The life of a moth is a model for human life. and that this natural occurence is something to be accepted because even then.” At the end." . Woolf deemed it worthy of the quintessential law. as well as the key points of the document.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful