Dillard and Woolf Style and Effect Compare and Contrast
Annie Dillard and Virginia Woolf both wrote beautiful essays, entitled “Death of A Moth,” and “Death of the Moth,” respectively. The similarities between the two pieces are seen just in the titles; however, the pieces exhibit several differences. While both Dillard and Woolf wrote extensive and detailed essays following deaths of moths, each writer’s work displays influence from different styles and tone, and each moth has a different effect on the respective writer; Dillard utilizes more blunt, and often graphic description in her writing, contrasting with Woolf’s reverent and solemn writing. Dillard is affected by allowing her to contemplate the concept of eternity and purpose
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This untimely death proves how death affects all living things in the universe, even the smallest, including a moth, and attempts to delay or halt it are futile. This is shown in the quote, “...nothing, I knew had any chance against death...” (Woolf, “The Death of the Moth.”) An assumption can be conceived that Woolf wrote the anecdote while she was contemplating her own life, and on the brink of committing suicide. The moth represents herself, stuck in a rut, a rut known to the moth as a windowsill, with no logical reason to continue to live. The essay shows that Woolf believes death must be embraced, because it cannot be avoided, as stated in her essay, “The helplessness of his attitude roared me. It flashed upon me that he was in difficulties; he could no longer raise himself; his legs struggled vainly...It came over me that the failure and awkwardness were the approach of death,” (“The Death of the Moth.”) The effect of the moth’s death on Woolf differentiates from Dillard, because Woolf believes nothing can overpower death, whereas Dillard may believe purpose after death exists.
Both essays bring compelling thoughts with the theme of death. Dillard uses blunt and graphic description to describe how a death of a moth left her realizing the purpose people and animals can have after death, and that death is not the end. Moreover, Woolf uses short sentences to display her emotion, using beautiful adjectives. In her essay, it can be conceived the