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Woolf vs. Petrunkevitch

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 537
  • Category: Reading

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Having read “The Death of a Moth” and “The Spider And The Wasp” the reader cannot help but look at parallels and contrasts between the tone that Virginia Woolf takes in her piece and the tone that is seen in Alexander Petrunkevitch’s writing. While some may say that there are no similarities seen in the two pieces and there is no comparison to be made between the two pieces, they clearly have not analyzed these two authors works as well as they should have. Both of these writers overall use of brevity that is seen both in their language and the physical structure of the essay serves to both convey her ideas as well as provide the readers with a better understanding of what they are trying to get at.

Woolf’s tone seen throughout her piece is pity and futility. This is seen and solidified in paragraph 2 when the speaker pities the moth for being a moth on a day where so much joy and wonder is possible for other living things. She sees the moth’s actions as futile as it zigzags back and forth between the two sills. She begins to relate with the moth in this way that life seems futile. Petrunkevitch uses a tone that is personal while at the same time staying professional. This tone is similar to that of Woolf in the way that although Woolf’s written perspective doesn’t suggest that she is connecting to the moth she does actually solidly say that she is interested in its actions and is “roused” by its attitude. Petrunkevitch clearly shows interest in the subjects that he talks about. He is “roused” by the spider’s actions as the digger wasp slowly closes off all of its hopes of escape. Both of the writers use a type of language that is both intriguing for the reader as well as helping the reader to understand what is going on. The tones that both writers use increases the validity of the information they state in their pieces while creating an enjoyable read.

Petrunkevitch examines why the tarantula behaves the way it does instead of attempting to defend itself early on. While Petrunkevitch has no conclusive answer to this question, he is able to create more interest to the piece. His added detail in the beginning and examination at the end of his piece creates more interest and pulls the reader in, helping them to be more engaged. Woolf uses her intense sensory details, especially at the beginning, to help pull the reader into her story. She also personifies the moth throughout the piece. “He was trying to resume his dancing,” Her connection with the moth grows throughout his death as she gives the moth more and more of a character. The two writers have a very different approach on how they use their writing abilities to communicate with their audience. Even through the different styles, with analysis of the pieces readers are able to make connections with the authors and able to understand the thought behind their words. These essays helps me to see that the most needs to be made out of life, because we are here for only a short time.

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