The Death Of The Moth Analysis

Good Essays
It is widely believed that human beings cannot escape death. Virginia Woolf’s narration in the story “The Death of the Moth” displays the battle between life and death, which is never won. The writer employs rhetorical devices such as fragmentation and tone, as well as metaphors to deliver his message and advance the feeling of pity in the reader. In addition, Woolf attentively uses metaphors and other literary devices in a manner that agrees with the shifting of the tone all through the narration, which assert the ideology that victory in the battle of death is impossible. The author intends to show that the moth’s actions are reflective of human life and that nature is powerful.

In her narration, Virginia Woolf uses a largely ignored
…show more content…
In the first paragraph, Woolf’s viewpoint that the moth seemed contented with its life foreshadows the conclusion. The comparison of the moth with the sky in the second paragraph further stresses the frailty of the small but determined insect. Through the mindful shift from personal narratives and the struggle of the moth, the author maintains a comparative narrative of her struggle. Although her size and the moth were incomparable, they both exhibited similar energy. The personification of the moth as a ‘he’ intends to invoke a common bond with the reader whereby the moth was given human characteristics. Life is depicted as a total struggle for all creatures in that even a small insect such as the moth took part in the …show more content…
Fragments like those were used in the construction of the tone of the narration besides giving the meaning of the character of the moth. As the narration progresses, the author uses more intense fragmentation and intentionally takes away from the pathos appeal. The author advances her irrelevance through profound phrases such as “I laid the pencil down,” “I looked out of doors, ' the struggle was over” “ the horses stood still” among other phrases as seen in the second paragraph. The phrases show the indifference of the world and mere acceptance of an individual’s personal battles. The narrator maintains the pathos appeal for the audience through literary devices that strengthen reader’s sympathy towards the moth, care, and concern that was not afforded to the character from any other

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Its struggle becoming a direct supplication to the reader since death is an innate fear shared by all living things. But Woolf does not simply fill her essay with emotional pleas—because basing an argument solely on them would be easily dismissive. Indeed, the moth’s struggle, and Woolf’s own, are deeply felt throughout the essay. Nevertheless, Woolf’s argument is what is most captivating. It connects the reader to her and allows them to trust her logic and conclusions of the moth and her own actions.…

    • 1404 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Readers are placed into a different perspective as Woolf wraps the essay up letting the readers know that the struggles the moth faced against the ugly fate of death was just a metaphor for human life. In the end, it is assumed that death will always win. One can simply not change their fate even as they try to fight against it. She concludes her essay stating “just as life had been strange a few minutes before, so death was now strange”. What started off as a stranger became all knowing to the moth and the moth seemed to cry “o yes, [...] death is stronger than I am”.…

    • 849 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She makes use of rhetorical devices such as a hopeless tone as an intent for the reader to feel pity for the moth and develop their own thoughts of life and death. She also makes use of metaphors, symbolism and imagery to further construct this narrative essay. The death of the moth in this sense proposes the idea that death is an inevitable result of living, where humans battle through life and death only to realize that it is a battle that is never won. All one can do is accept death with…

    • 1629 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” the poet and speaker branch out in a confusing segregation. The poet has an indecisive ego on the way he feels about his lost companion, so when the speaker talks to us, it can have a hesitant tone the way we understand him. “Numbers” has many quotes such as the following that give a thematic statement about numbers, “Even subtraction is never loss, just addition somewhere else:”, as it stanzas became a broad idea they are then made specific. “five sparrows take away two, the two in someone else 's garden now.” While in “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”, a specific quote expanded my thinking on the poem. According to the author, Kevin Young, “Loneliness is a science-”.…

    • 1084 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A characteristic of modernism is the detachment from the subject (cite). The tone in turn develops and sustains a sympathy for the moth. Describing the moth as “frail” as well as “pathetic” emphasizes the helplessness of the moth. Word choices that include “superb” and “gigantic effort” demonstrate the exorbitant effort that the moth manifests despite its “helplessness” and “awkwardness”, and in turn, supports the creation of a sense of dread. Woolf aptly describes the struggle as “marvellous as well as pathetic.”, conveying the theme that regardless of how one goes about trying to avoid it, death is inevitable, despite a valiant…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She had already set up her readers with a causal transition word stating “Because” with her opening line in her poem. Now, “Death” is an unusual noun to personify, but she captivated it very well. “He kindly stopped for me”, this statement lead the reader to hint that death is being personified as a gentlemen. Dickinson personified death as a patient gentleman who was obviously at her service when she clearly couldn’t make time for him. As personification had been found in the first stanza, Dickinson also contrive the use of assonance rhyme to emphasize the ideal of individual care in which she said, “The Carriage held but just Ourselves – and Immortality”.…

    • 1516 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Now that the dénouement for the two short stories has been found and their purpose examined, one can begin to examine how Poe uses various effects to lead the reader to it. In “The Raven,” Poe claims that beauty is the desired effect: “Beauty is the sole legitimate providence of the poem… When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect.” This is important to note, as he continues telling the reader how Truth is incompatible with beauty; Beauty is of the heart and spirit, while Truth only placates the mind. When reading into Poe’s tone in his essay, one can see that he has a greater respect for the emotional—that is “excitement, or pleasurable elevation, of the soul.”11 This observation…

    • 1232 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the beginning, Woolf says that the moth was “enjoying his meager opportunities to the fullest”. In this quote, it seems as if the moth has feelings, it’s trying to enjoy every last second of its life. This creates a connection between the moth and the readers, as they are able to understand why the moth is struggling in order to stay alive even though it knows that death is inevitable. The reader has experienced such an emotion, so it will allow him to feel and connect with the scene. In addition, Woolf does not use “it” to describe the moth but rather uses “he”.…

    • 831 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Emily Dickinson Outline

    • 879 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Topic Sentence 1: Dickinson uses slant rhyme to emphasize her points and to induce the readers to pay close attention to the words themselves rather than the sounds of the words. 1. In her poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, she gives an example of a slant rhyme when she writes, “He kindly stopped for me- / The Carriage held but just Ourselves- / And Immortality” (2-3). • It emphasizes that Death is a person and that there is someone else in the carriage with them. When Dickinson wrote “He kindly stopped for me”, she was referring to Death as a kind person.…

    • 879 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Her poem “If I can stop one heart from breaking” speaks easily to all ages that life is made worthwhile if you help others. “If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, [...] I shall not live in vain.” Emily Dickinson’s poems cover a wide range of tones and teach valuable lessons but also instill feelings and beliefs in people. Something in the poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” really struck something within me. The idea that the Hope Bird is small and delicate, yet is always fighting and singing for you is a really impactful thought and image for me. The selflessness of the tiny bird that will stay by your side through the darkest…

    • 1098 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays