The essay “The death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf and the essay “Afternoon of an American Boy” by E. B. White compare in certain ways. Both struggling but the moth is struggling to stay alive while the boy is struggling to fit in. The boy is struggling to fit in based on someone else’s thoughts, as in Eileen’s thoughts. As the moth is struggling within in itself to stay alive, the moth has to deal with his own thoughts and actions not others. The stories are about a negative experience showing the characters out of their comfort zones, both resulting in negative experiences with different consequences for both.
Both the stories are about a negative experience but “The death of a Moth” is about death, while “Afternoon of an American Boy” is about a failed date. The dying moth is something that cannot be undone or changed, while the failed date can be forgotten and Elwyn White can move on and learn a lesson from the incident that happened as a young boy. The character watching the moth went the pick up the pencil although it was no use to the moth (240). Although the boy feels guilty taking the girl to a tea dance, it occurred so long ago, about thirty-five years (214).
Both essays are about being out of the characters comfort zones; in “Afternoon of an American Boy” White intentionally puts himself in the position of the date, while the Moth in “The death of the Moth” did not intentionally die. The boy took a lot of time deciding to proceed and although he was extremely nervous, he wanted to call Eileen. The moth did not want to die, tried desperately to keep moving and flying although it was no use. The boy took many minutes to finally pick up the phone to call Eileen (212). The character watching the moth finally noticed he was struggling when the moth couldn’t move, struggling to move the legs to get up (239).
In both essays the characters are considered weak, in “The death of the Moth” the moth is weak by not staying alive, but White...