The Death of the Moth

The glorious novelist Virginia Woolf has written many books that are filled with modernism and also with feminism. But “The Death of the Moth” is an uncommon work of her.

Many of the researchers or readers do not even know of this novel. It was published later which has 248 pages. But the main theme is of the novel is about the life of an insect. A small life would be dying.

The Death of the Moth Summary

The essay starts with the author’s thinking when she is living in her house. Suddenly the author saw a moth that is flying everywhere.

After that, she starts thinking of the insect about its life. She speaks how it lives life and how it flying over the bosom of the world. This is romantic imagery where she finds some similarities with the moth to nature.

The Death of the moth
The Death of the moth

“It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.”

This moth does not have boundaries and can fly everywhere. Maybe in that section, the author is trying to compare herself with the moth.

Perhaps she also wants to be free like the moth but social boundaries are not allowing her to do that. Once she thought the moth is the symbol of her own life.

“It 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 zigzagging to show us the true nature of life.”

There the readers can get imagery of another poem written by John Donne and the poem is “The Flea”. In that poem also the poet compares himself and like that here, Virginia Woolf is also comparing or making a metaphor with herself.

The Moth
The Moth

So, basically, the author is trying to show herself in this moth and more and more she writes on the surroundings of the author.

At the very first time, she says of the moth that it is a decayed insect that can not do everything but again she opines that it can fly in its way. A keen feministic view comes in as she is talking about dominance and social taboos. A woman can not do whatever she wants.

The Death of the moth famous Quotes

“the same energy that inspired the rook,
The ploughmen…”

With these concepts, the story progresses and now she is enunciating about the energy because of that it flying. The given quotes are saying the same on the moth.

A much before she, herself was saying that the moth does not have any purpose of flying and now she goes with the other tune. She says, it has extreme energy that let her fly.

Again a comparison with humans life is coming out as human are also doing work because of having the same energy.

This concept is really awesome because very few works are being written on these absurd thoughts. Moreover, this is an essay that is very rare.

“He was little or nothing but a life.”

The beauty of the moth is not shown in a deep process but the author’s lines provoke that the moth is beautiful in its way. Maybe, the author has a fear of living a regular life and that is why she is aware of that energy that is being regulated.

After that, suddenly the author sees the moth fells down to the floor and its wings are rushing. It tries to get back but with times constantly it is getting stuffed.

The Death of the Moth
The Death of the Moth

As Virginia Woolf writes, it is becoming silent. Now the author is trying to help it and she puts her pencil and thinking that the time has come to die.

The Death of the Moth Rhetorical Analysis

It will die soon as the men will also be died with times. More than saving its life she describes the way of ‘life and death’. There is no possibility of surviving from the pain that it is living with.

These lines are being compared with human life. Human death also comes in that way nobody knows when it will stop.

“Perhaps then one reason why we have no great poet, novelist, or critic writing today is that we refuse to allow words their liberty. We pin them down to one meaning, their useful meaning:”

The moth dies and the author realizes that when the time will arrive nobody can make humans safe from death. The struggle for living ends with exhaling air. Death is inevitable and people will die like the moth.

This essay is nothing but a portrait of human life where death will come necessarily. Nobody has the power to defend it. The moth is like an example on of that Virginia Woolf shows her views on life.

One more thing, Virginia Woolf herself was a very stressed, depressed woman and even she died by committing suicide. Maybe, this work speaks her points of view and from this essay, readers can reach her motif of life.

It 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 zigzagging to show us the true nature of life.

Questions and Answers

What is the effect of the death of the moth?

Death of the moth provokes the energy of life that is going to end at a time.

What does the moth represent in the death of the moth?

The moth symbolizes the insignificant struggles of human life. The death of the moth represents the struggles of humanity.

What does the Bible say about moth?

Bible says that moth is the treasure of heaven.

Is a moth in the house good luck?

It depends on the culture. Many people think if moth flies all over the house that means a bad circumstance will happen.

Found info useful?