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THE DEATH OF THE MOTH Virginia Woolf By Sarah An and Yat Huynh Period 1.

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1 THE DEATH OF THE MOTH Virginia Woolf By Sarah An and Yat Huynh Period 1

2 VIRGINIA WOOLF ( )  Her novels experimented with time and narrative.  She is considered a master of the stream-of-consciousness technique.  She battled mental illnesses throughout her life.  Committed suicide by drowning herself.

3 SUMMARY  A mid-September morning  Very lively and exciting  Feels pity towards a moth that can’t enjoy his life  Tiny bead of pure life  Struggle  Helplessness  The power of death

4 PURPOSE  To share to other people her viewpoint of life  Show the relationship between the life and death of a moth to the life of a human  Emphasize that death is inevitable

5 HOW THE PURPOSE IS ACHIEVED  Diction – “pure” “dancing” “him, he, his”  Symbolism – moth represents human being  Tone – sympathetic, helplessness Narrative – First person, the reader observes the dying moth.

6 DICTION  Woolf describes the moth’s life as “pure,” this gives off a feeling of innocence and makes the reader feel caring. The type of care a person feels towards a child.  The moth was “...was tired by his dancing...” and “He was trying to resume his dancing...” Woolf chose to describe his struggling as dancing to give a sense of liveliness.

7 DICTION  Woolf addresses the moth by “him, he, his” which relates an insect to a human.  Uses description to convey ideas:  “He was so small, and so simple a form of energy that was rolling in at the open window” (266)  “He was trying to resume his dancing, but seemed either so stiff or so awkward that he could only flutter to the bottom of the window-pane” (267)

8 SYMBOLISM  The moth’s struggle to live symbolized Woolf’s struggle in life.  “I stretched out a pencil, meaning to help him to right himself…I laid the pencil down again” (267)  “One’s sympathies, of course, were all on the side of life.” (267)  Fighting death: “Nothing I knew had any chance against death…the legs fluttered again. It was superb this last protest, and so frantic…” (267)

9 TONE  The tone is very sad and sympathetic. “feeling pity for him.” “What he could do he did.” “The helplessness of his attitude roused me.” “It was useless to try to do anything.”

10 NARRATIVE  Stream-of-consciousness: Witness to death Uses moth to display her perspectives on death/life. Sees death flash before her eyes. Reflects her own life because of moth

11 Effectiveness  Very effective.  Topic that everyone relates to.  Invites readers to sense Woolf’s pain and feelings.  Creates image in one’s mind about death’s power and moth’s (human’s) mortality


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