The Moth Essay

1339 words - 6 pages

“O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am.” This is the last sentence of Virginia Woolf’s essay, The Death of the Moth, in which Woolf describes to her readers the cycle of life and the struggles that she faced because of the psychological issues that she possessed. There are various correlations between the moth in Woolf’s essay and her own personal life. What exactly is interpreted by the actions of the moth and the events that occur is a matter of opinion. One may ponder the question, “why had Woolf chosen to write about a moth, instead of a more intriguing subject that relates to her life?” What, if any, significance does the moth have towards Woolf? While these questions may leave a reader unsatisfied or perplexed, Woolf had a more in depth reason for why she chose to write about what she did, not just about a moth and its course through life, but about the difficulties that one must learn to overcome in life and learn the proper manner to greet death.
Woolf begins her writing by introducing moths to her audience. She explains herself as to why she chose to write about moths as opposed to any other creature because moths are neither delightful like butterflies nor are they somber like their own specimens. This thought of Woolf’s may suggest that she felt like a moth at this stage in her life. She continues her writing by focusing on one particular moth, found inside of her house, which was full of youth and energy. Why would Woolf notice the degree of energy that the moth had pertained? Could it be that she felt the complete opposition, as though she was in need of power. Woolf describes the moth to be fluttering around her apartment, specifically around her window pane, vigorously flying from one side to the other. Woolf says, “One could not help watching him.” It is possible that she uses this expression as it applies to her own life. Because Woolf has a psychological dilemma, there may be numerous people that attend her each and every day for a variety of reasons, such as to check up on her or supply her with something to eat. Flying speedily from corner to corner, Woolf watched as the moth shined through his enormous amount of liveliness. The moth had been nothing but life.
As the moth flew around the window pane, it crashed into the window several times, clearly displaying the fact that it could not overcome this obstacle, and was in need of assistance. Yet, the moth continued to collide with the window, several more times, as if it had expected a different outcome of the same situation. After some time, the moth appeared to settle on the ledge of the window, bathing under the sun, most likely because it had been exhausted and needed to regain some of its energy. Woolf forgot about the moth for some time, until it had resumed its foolish activity once more. Although, this time Woolf noticed that there was strangeness to its flutter, as it could only fly to the bottom of the window pane, unable to support itself. This idea...

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