Death is a difficult subject for anyone to speak of, although it is a part of everyday life. In Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth”, she writes about a moth flying about a windowpane, its world constrained by the boundaries of the wood holding the glass. The moth flew, first from one side, to the other, and then back as the rest of life continued ignorant of its movements. At first indifferent, Woolf was eventually moved to pity the moth. This story shows that life is as strange and familiar as death to us all. I believe this story was well written and will critique the symbolism, characters, and the setting.
Therefore, Virginia Woolf’s essay “The Death of the Moth” makes comparisons about the life and struggles of a delicate insignificant moth to the similar struggles faced by all human life. Although the moth is a very simple. primal form of life, only concerned with breathing and eating, Woolf still relates to its struggle to survive to the same struggle all people face in leading meaningful lives and overcoming obstacles with as much strength as she had just witnessed in the moth’s battle with death. When confronting death, humans are just as weak and frail as the moth and are powerless to escape their fates. Yet, unlike the moth, humans struggle to find as much enjoyment as the moth did with his aimless flights in the mundane tasks filling almost every moment of their lives. All living creatures are mortals fighting for time and forgetting to make the most of the time they still have left.
Wilson argues for De Quincey's continuing relevance, mentioning that, in addition to Burroughs, he paved the way for such diverse writers as Virginia Woolf and Jorge Luis Borges. One does see hints of De Quincey in Woolf's essays; his telescoping from eye-level detail to cosmic speculation sometimes rhymes thematically with Woolf's "Street Haunting" and "The Death of the Moth." But De Quincey's work presents a model to be refined, not directly emulated. His most prominent admirers over the years, including Woolf, learned best from De Quincey's mistakes, including the limits of his moral vision. "With immense powers of language at his command," wrote Woolf, "he was incapable of a sustained and passionate interest in the affairs of other people."