Essays Comparison

While Woolf in the book ‘The Death of the Moth’ and Dillard in ‘Living like the Weasels’ both talk about the human life

Woolf basis his argument on the existence of the moth that dies quickly whereas Dillard focuses on the interesting life of the weasel that appears for one thing to do and does it with all effort.

Main Ideas in the Essays

Dillard focuses on the issue of freedom in life and how it influences choices whereas Woolf looks at the importance of being lively in this short life.

Woolf compares human life to that of the short lifestyles of the moth. Therefore, human beings ought to be energetic and keep doing the best they can in all their efforts in life.

Dillard uses the Weasel to explain the need for human beings to one thing they can do, and while at it, put their maximum effort.


Woolf is negative and focuses so much on death and how it robs of dreams and even affects present day activities.

Dillard is positive and has a hope for tomorrow. She shows the importance of doing the best in any one activity with a focus on the future.


Woolf uses a lot of imagery and stylistic devices which make it more interesting. The readers also relate to the experience of the moth more easily.

Dillard is also very elaborate in her imagery. She is able to link between the life of the weasel and that of human beings perfectly.


Woolf begins by describing the moth, the forces that control the life of the moth to the struggles between life and death and finally to the inevitable death.

Dillard explains how she met with a weasel and after watching it, she became intrigued by its way of life. She uses comparison between the weasel’s life and that of humans to form a basis for her story.

Quote on Similarity

“One could not help watching him” Woolf referring to the moth.

“I have been reading about weasels because I saw one last week.” Dillard referring to the weasel.

This shows the focus on human life as intrigued by watching the moth and weasel respectively.

Quote Two

“Watching him, it seemed as if a fiber, very thin but pure, of the enormous energy of the world had been thrust into his frail and diminutive body.” Woolf referring to the struggles of the moth with life.

This shows the perspective of Woolf from a negative point.

Quote Three

“Who knows what he thinks? He sleeps in his underground den, his tail draped over his nose. Sometimes he lives in his den for two days without leaving.” Dillard referring to the perspective of the weasel to life.

This shows Dillard’s focus as she writes about the human life.

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