Annie Dillard, the author of "Death of a Moth" and Virginia Woolf, the author of "The Death of the Moth" have different perspectives on the subject of life and death. Then, looking up, my eye was caught by him. The helplessness of his attitude roused. Somehow it was opposed to the little hay-coloured moth. 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 zig-zagging to show us the true nature of life. Dillard describes the moth's death as if it were glorious: "She burned for two hours without changing, without swaying or kneeling only glowing within, like a fire glimpsed through silhouetted walls, like a hallow saint, like a flame-faced virgin gone to God, while I read. Just as life had been strange a few minutes before, so death was now as strange. I looked as if for the enemy against which he struggled.
Also, when there was nobody to care or to know, this gigantic effort on the part of an insignificant little moth, against a power of such magnitude, to retain what no one else valued or desired to keep, moved one strangely. They are hybrid creatures, neither gay like butterflies nor sombre like their own species. Again, somehow, one saw life, a pure bead. Through the description of the moths who had burned in the candle, she implies that these insects still had meaning; these moths allowed the flame of the candles to beam even brighter. Stillness and quiet had replaced the previous animation. Watching him, it seemed as if a fibre, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body. One could only watch the extraordinary efforts made by those tiny legs against an oncoming doom which could, had it chosen, have submerged an entire city, not merely a city, but masses of human beings; nothing, I knew, had any chance against death. Then, suddenly, the net would be thrown into the air again in a wider circle this time, with the utmost clamour and vociferation, as though to be thrown into the air and settle slowly down upon the tree tops were a tremendously exciting experience. Thus displayed one could not get over the strangeness. Show more content, throughout her essay, Woolf never once describes to us her immediate surroundings.
I believe the moth is part of an overall theme of loss and gain in the essay.
In the first section of the essay - the bathroom scene - there are sixteen or so corpses, insect victims of a single spider.