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Dillard's "Death of Moth" G block

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by

Maura Sincoff

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of Dillard's "Death of Moth" G block

"At the same time, her six legs clawed, curled, blackened and ceased, disappearing utterly." In death her physical body decays but the memory of her lives on through her writing. "This moths-essence, this spectacular skeleton, began to act as a wick. She kept burning."
Organization
While Dillard was reading Wolf's essay, she wasn't sure whether she disagreed or agreed with her interpretation that there is no life after death, but by the end she formed a different opinion. Then in her own essaay, she starts off just observing the moth like Wolf did, but then she makes her argument that there is, infact, life after death. (writers leave their writing with the world after they die/ moth made the flame brighter)
Allusion
allusion to Rimbaud-French writer who was "self-destructive"->Dillard's commentary on writing
interesting that he is inspiration for her writing-goes to purpose that something can come out of one's death
burnt out his brain in a thousand poems"
writing can kill you, but as long as something comes out of it (the poems), your life was significant

Figurative language
Diction
Quote: "A golden female moth, two inch wingspread..." Use of the word golden to attach worth on the moth's part. the concrete details adds significance to the life of the moth and thus her writing because it allows for the reader to vividly imagine the moth, and make the flame seem brighter with use of gold/red imagery

Quote: "dropped her abdomen into the hot wax and stuck flamed frizzled and fried in a second" Alliteration used to show the spontaneity and of energy life
Practice Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

(Using Annie Dillard's "Death of a Moth"

Syntax
- more natural than Wolf's writing
- not as many big complicated words
- she puts her private doubts in parenthesis
-moth is capitalized in the middle of a sentence
I
Annotate: Underline, circle, etc. as you read.

CHOOSE THE STRATEGY THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU:
Strategy ONE: Read once, more slowly, for both meaning and devices.

Strategy TWO:READ THE PIECE TWICE:

ONCE, FAIRLY RAPIDLY, TO GET A SENSE OF THE OVERALL MEANING.

TWICE, A BIT SLOWER, TO GET DEVICES
IMAGES
DETAILS
TONE
"Her moving wings ignited like tissue paper..."
Allusion to Woolf's "Death of a Moth"
"...The green leaves of jewelweed by my side, the ragged red trunk of pine."
- a revision of Woolf's death of a moth because she has a different purpose/ point of view on Woolf's original message
- both agree you should try to make the most of life however Dillard is trying to convey the messasge to a youthful audience by using colloquial language and refering to the relationship between teachers and students
- adding to Woolf's original idea of how we live in order to die by giving meaning to death in how we leave a message after we die
"And her head jerked in spasms, making a spattering noise; her antennae crisped and burnt away and her heaving mouthparts cracked like pistol fire."
"The moth's head was fire."
personification- "her little outfit" referring to the moth
"...Like a building fire glimpsed through silhouetted walls, like a hollow saint, like a flame-faced virgin gone to God, while I read by her light, kindled,"
Full transcript