life

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“The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf and “The Death of a Moth” by Annie Dillard are two personal essays that are on the same topic, yet very different. Virginia Woolf was a pessimistic woman who was very serious and admired the simplicity of life, while Annie Dillard is an independent woman who is curious about life and finds it humorous. Life and death are perceived differently by these two authors; Woolf believes that death overpowers life and Dillard believes that death isn’t the final step of the life cycle
It is clearly shown in the Virginia Woolf’s essay that she was struggling between life and death during that time. Woolf makes us feel the death of a specific moth, which leaves the readers respecting the power of death. In Woolf’s essay, the moth was trying to pass through the window screen, but fails to do so because the window was closed. This insignificant creature created a battle with himself, struggling to fly through the windowpane and start a new life. To Woolf’s eyes, the moth did not let the glass separate itself from his goal, to manipulate his life. Virginia Woolf felt “a queer feeling of pity for him” and tries to help the moth. But, Woolf withdraws because helping him would take away the most important part of the moth’s life; the beauty of his struggle toward success.
“The Death of a Moth” by Annie Dillard wasn’t based on one specific moth; it was generally pointed toward loss and gain in life; gaining benefits even after death. Dillard compares human life to animal life; perhaps she was seeing herself as the moth in the glowing fire. Ironically, when she caught moths flying into a candle, Dillard was reading, The Day on Fire by James Ullman, which inspired her to write again. Each moth flew into the fl...

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...ht burns on, continuing the work and purpose of its life a little longer. It seems that Dillard is trying to express that no matter how lonely a bug or a person is, everything has light and it’s not necessarily ended by death.
Since, life and death are two things that can be approached in many different ways; both authors chose a similar story. But, the plot of each creature’s death were explored differently; Woolf made a point that death is unavoidable because death is much more powerful than living and Dillard says death is beautiful because we create a lasting impression after we die. Woolf and Dillard clearly and specifically described the life of a moth and the death of a moth, which is usually simple and unimportant to a human. Despite the similar theme, tone
, and style, each author skillfully brought different reflections of the unstoppable power of death.

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