Death Of The Moth By Virginia Woolf Essay

1404 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
In her essay, Death of the Moth, the acclaimed English woman-of-letters, Virginia Woolf, fills the spaces between the lines with Pathos, be it from the fecundity of her words to the philosophical arguments evoked by her subject matter. These dramatic attributes, however, do not prove to be antithetical to the core tenets of her thesis. While abstract—as Woolf predominantly is—the essay portrays a world replete with life and death symbolism, centered on the strenuous last moments of a moth’s life. This curious endeavour is the main catalyst for the viewer, shall she give it (the moth) a moment of humanity just before its death, or rather, let it be and allow its death to occur without hindrance? This internal debate is contrasted with the morning images she sees outside her window: birds flying about; the rooftops seemingly rising and falling; a man mowing the lawn. All of these depictions are but pieces to this greater puzzle: What is this life where death lurks discreetly at the windowsill? Henceforth she connects these varying images of life through her use of: intuition, inductive reasoning and insight, while simultaneously challenging tribal notions of conformity. Woolf seeks to make sense of all of this by weaving together a complex allegorical tapestry for the reader to slowly unwind and draw their own conclusions. In the essay’s preamble, Woolf asserts that life is varying, for in the beginning, just before the moth’s introduction, she is sitting at the window,…

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