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“The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf

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In “The Death of the Moth”, Virginia Woolf uses elements such as the tone, sentence structure, and the use of motif to connect the theme as being the paradox of death and the coherence of the moth with the true essence of life. Woolf utilizes a moderate tone in explaining how the struggle of the moth is affected to the role of life. She uses this element to display her undertone theme by explaining that the moth has no hope from being isolated from the world by a window pane to express that the moth’s “single activities” was with “a kind of pity.” Woolf depicts the moth as a simple “insignificant little creature” flying in circles until the moth reaches its inevitable death. The author’s attitude of accepting death implies that the moth had no chance of survival and it reflects to how “death is stronger than [the moth is].” The author structures her sentence by describing the moth’s power and inevitability of the death. Woolf brings out the importance of the assets of the moth’s death. The author utilizes sentence structures when she expresses that “one could only watch the extraordinary efforts made by [the moth’s] tiny legs against an oncoming doom which, had [the moth] chosen, have submerged an entire city, but masses of human beings; nothing [the author] knew, had any chance against death.”

Woolf was in bewilderment that death cannot be avoided and she could not do anything about it. Woolf uses motif in her essay to emphasize the theme of the moth being “content with life.” She utilizes a recurring symbol of the aspect of true life as being energy. Woolf describes that she could “fancy that a thread of vital light” which represents the energy “[becoming] visible and that the moth was “little or nothing but life.” The author use of motif brought the true meaning of how the moth is the mystery of death and its existence while constrained from side to side of the window pane. Virginia Woolf exploits the elements of tone, sentence structures, and the use of motif to proclaim that the moth represents of having human life or qualities. Humans fail to remember what life is usually all about and that death is clear to face if humans do not realize their freedoms or outlook of life.

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