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Comments on the Death of the Moth

  • Date Submitted: 03/13/2010 03:31 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.3 
  • Words: 458
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Woolf, Virginia. “The Death of the Moth”, The Bedford Reader, ed. X.J.Kennedy, Dorothy. M.Kennedy, and Jane E.Aaron. Boston, MA: Bedford/St.Martin’s, (2003). 699—701

Comments on Setting of “The Death of the Moth”
  “The Death of the Moth” describes the persistent struggle of a moth against death but fails at last. Besides the symbolism of the moth and the literary techniques employed in the article, the setting is an important element in the success of the story.   The story is set in a natural world in a peaceful morning. The setting helps establish the theme of the true nature of life, insignificance against significance, and entrapment.
  What is the true nature of life? The answer has already been given-- “the enormous energy of the world” (700). The setting helps building the image that the whole world is energetic: “[rooks soar] round the tree tops…, after a few moments [sink] slowly down upon the trees” (700). Every creature impresses readers of its noises and animation. Besides that, the struggling moth, as a symbol of energy, is also inspired by “[the vigor that comes] rolling in from the fields” (700).
  Meanwhile, the enormous energy of natural world serves as foil to the insignificance of the one day moth. The outside “with the utmost clamor and vociferation” (700) is “tremendously exciting” (700), while the moth is “fiber, very thin … frail and diminutive” (700). Even one “[feels] of pity for [it]” (700). Moreover, “in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea” (700), the only thing that the moth can do is flying from one corner to another. It is a powerful contrast between the colorful natural world and the one day moth, which makes readers feel of pity for the moth as well because it seems so vulnerable.
  The last vital function of the setting is to accomplish the theme of entrapment. The major entrapment is obviously death itself, but...

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