Journal #2 Essay

Submitted By Ninanay15
Words: 681
Pages: 3

Nina Nay
Mrs. Pedersen
AP Language and Composition
08 September 2013
Journal #2 In the story "The Death of the Moth", Virginia Woolf illustrates the universal struggle between life and death. She uses a moth – something tangible; something dull, gray creature – and life – something abstract; the most precious thing to a human being – to explain her argument. And throughout the essay, Woolf uses many literary devices as well as rhetorical devices to describe, to compare and contrast, and to emphasis her thought on the power of death. She appeals to the audience in many ways, making them not only think but question the idea and the complexity yet simplicity of death. Right from the get-go, Woolf settings a mood of loneness and separation from the day moth she is writing about, to other moths by saying: “Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths…neither gay like butterflies nor sombre like their own species” (Woolf 467). She sets them apart and by implying that they do not belong, they seem insignificant and it lowers the value or worth of this day moth and makes the reader infer that the day moth will not live a happy long life because of the distinction between it and other creatures. But when Woolf sets the setting – which is calm, benignant, and pleasantly sound – it’s almost contradictory to what the readers would expect from this essay, and it makes the reader think that the author is, in a way, shunning the moth out of colorful, beautiful world outside the window. Woolf also uses the word ‘us’ in describing the setting, giving readers a sense of the scenery and gives the reader a scenario to think about and to feel with the moth. As the essay continues, Woolf begins to poke at the reader’s emotions and she begins to go more in dept with her subject, making readers have to think more and provoking their conscious mind. With all the energy in the atmosphere of the setting, the moth too has a sense of energy in itself. With nothing to use that energy on, so little to do in life, it creates a sense of pity for the moth. With so much energy, it makes the reader feel pitiful for the moth because it was given live just to live; nothing less nothing more. But readers feel a sense of purity within the moth with its electrifying energy and innocent life. “If was as if someone had taken a tiny bead of pure life and decking it as lightly as possible with down and feathers, had set it dancing and…