Virginia Woolf Death Of The Moth Essay

584 Words3 Pages
It is a fact that all living creatures, from the towering giraffe to the diminutive ant, die eventually. Even for someone aware of this fact, it is difficult to imagine oneself dying. Regardless, the subtleties of life often bring this realization a reality. Such is the case of Virginia Woolf when she sees a moth die in her essay, “The Death of the Moth.” In this work, Woolf details her experience in seeing a once lively moth succumb to the disease that plagues all of life: death. Initially, the insect is full of vitality. It “[flies] vigorously to one corner of his compartment, and, after waiting there a second, [flies] across to the other”(Woolf 1107). This makes the moth’s life even more pathetic due to its potential transcend its meager…show more content…
After all, only when death and despair are so near does it take such an incredible hold on a person’s life that he or she questions his or her previous views on what should be done. With her special insight, Woolf addresses those who have not contemplated the purpose of life to think about its fragility and meaning. To people who are too preoccupied with life’s opportunities, like the moth once was, she wishes them to think of their own death by focusing on the moth’s downfall. Because of her pessimistic attitude of the idea that death prevails against the strong and the weak equally, her writing is full of sadness. For instance, she writes that “nothing [she knows of] had any chance against death”(1108). She views that the moth’s battle against the force of nature to be useless. In fact, that is what causes her to withdraw the pencil she offers to the moth when it starts to struggle (1108). It is not worth helping save its inconsequential life if it only delays the inevitable. Of course, since everything not yet dead will die, Woolf cannot help but to see herself in the moth. Both they and other living creatures await the death that would take them away from this

More about Virginia Woolf Death Of The Moth Essay

Open Document