Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Death of a Moth Essay -- Literary Analysis, Virginia Woolf

What started out as an ordinary day turned out to be one if the worst tragedies in the history of Bangladesh – the fire at Nimtoli in Dhaka. I sat in shock as I saw the news reports of the tragic incident showing numerous buildings on fire burning mercilessly, people running in havoc with no idea where loved ones are and yet others trapped inside the buildings, screaming, being burned alive. However, nothing seemed to have any effect on the ruthless fire which kept on burning, claiming as many lives as it could, turning a deaf ear to the desperate cries of hundreds of people. The blazing flames simply devoured everything in their path, burning them to ash. It finally subsided in the early hours of dawn, but the damage it left behind was monumental – piles of debris and dead bodies scattered in buildings which were burned charcoal black. As the police and firemen recovered countless bodies from the ruins, I wondered about the strange nature of life and death. In her essay, â€Å"The Death of a Moth†, Virginia Woolf contemplates how life and death are separated by a single thread of â€Å"energy† and how eventually the force of death snaps the thread, overpowering life and proving its superior strength (385). Woolf reflects how life and death are two mutually exclusive forces of nature, yet they are intertwined by the law of nature itself. In the essay, Woolf observes a moth, an â€Å"insignificant creature† at his attempts to â€Å"[enjoy] his meager opportunities† of a particularly vibrant morning bustling with life, energy and activity (385). However the moth is soon faced with a force which Woolf deems to be far superior to life’s energy. It is a force â€Å"which would, had it chosen, have submerged an entire city, not merely a city, but masses of hu... .... They are also echoed by humans in an attempt to delay death. However, as Woolf claims, death indeed is the ultimate destination of all living things. It is how we reach that destination that matters the most. All rational living creatures â€Å"diverge ever more widely from [their] original course of life and to make ever more complicated detours before reaching [their] final aim of death† (Freud 32). Robert Frost in his poem â€Å"Nothing Gold Can Stay† writes: â€Å"Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold.† The fact that life is a â€Å"hue† that we want to hold questions Woolf’s supposed claims; if death is indeed the stronger force of nature and life the weaker, then why do all living beings choose the weaker force? Perhaps there is a force stronger than the force of life and death, one that governs life and death, and that I believe is the force of nature.

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