Death Of The Moth Rhetorical Analysis

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The subject of death is one that many have trouble talking about, but Virginia Woolf provides her ideas in her narration The Death of the Moth. The moth is used as a metaphor to depict the constant battle between life and death, as well as Woolf’s struggle with chronic depression. Her use of pathos and personification of the moth helps readers develop an emotional connection and twists them to feel a certain way. Her intentional use of often awkward punctuation forces readers to take a step back and think about what they just read. Overall, Woolf uses these techniques to give her opinion on existence in general, and reminds readers that death is a part of life. Woolf’s pathos to begin the story paints a picture in readers minds of what the …show more content…

She describes the September morning as “mild, benignant, yet with a keener breath than the summer months.” She then goes on to describe the field outside her window, using word choice that is quite the opposite of words that would be used to describe a depressing story. She depicts the exact opposite of death, and creates a feeling of joy, happiness, and life to the world outside her room. After this, she goes into great detail about the “festivities” of the rooks among the treetops, and how they “soared round the treetops until it looked as if a vast net with thousands of black knots in it had been cast up into the air”. There is so much going on around her that “it was difficult to keep the eyes strictly turned upon the book.” Descriptions like these are no way to describe a seemingly depressing story about a moth, but by using these, joyful descriptions, Woolf connects everything happening outside to a single strand of energy. These images set a lively tone for the world around her, and now allow her to further introduce the moth into the story. One article article analyzing The Death of the Moth writes: “With the use of the pronoun “he,” we see how Woolf anthropomorphizes the moth, and in that vein she continues the metamorphosis… He is not just a representative of a species; he is an individual” (Dubino). By changing her description from moths in general to this single moth, Woolf has created a subject that can be given human-like thoughts and feelings. She refers to the moth as “he” throughout the rest of the essay to personify

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