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The Death of the Moth by Virginia Wolf

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In the essay “The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Wolf, she describes to her audience that the moth lives a short lived but eventful life. She is trying to convey that different seasons in the world present different life challenges and that no one can escape death, death is the ultimate power. Woolf describes life on a large scale but then uses the moth almost as a human being to downscale the situation. She uses the small scale of the moth to act as a human in the world where death is inescapable, but then goes through seasons of nourishment and wealth. Woolf makes the reader want to delve deeper into context as she makes the reader think about the balance of life and death and their place in the middle.

A desperate and hopeless underlying tone is maintained throughout the writing, and is developed through the tone of the indifference and fascination from Woolf. The underlying tones are strengthened enough so the reader develops and maintains a feeling of pity for the moth, but more of a sadness pity. Due to the tone, the reader feels emotionally connected to the moth, and when the tone shifts, the reader ponders whether the moth will live, and it eventually does. A lot of diction is used to establish the moth's character as "pathetic" and "frail", but Woolf then uses a shift of tone to show that the moth has an impending death that it cannot escape, it is its destiny. The moth exhibits fight which can lead the reader on to believe the moth will survive until its destined end. Woolf uses words like "superb" and "gigantic effort" to illustrate the effort the moth exerts despite its helpfulness and "awkwardness" as its destined death approaches. Woolf creates the picture that the Moth's life and struggle is fascinating and hopeful, yet pathetic and useless since there’s nothing it can do about its death.

Woolf’s choice of narration to construct her writing helps

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