Name of Student

Nameof Student

TheBattle of the Ants and Death of the Moth

of the Articles

The battle of ants by Henry David Thoreau contains the events thatthe author witnessed when he went to collect wood from his pile ofstumps (Strang 129). The events involved two races of ants, the redand black ants, battling for dominance on the ground and the piecesof wood (Strang 129). The author described and related the battle tothe ones that involved human beings. The article contains an in-depthdescription of the behavior of the ants during the war as describedby the author.

Thedeath of the moth by Virginia Woolf presents the author’sdescription of the events that transpired in relation to the moth.The author is distracted by the geographical composition of themountain and the flying birds in some moments. The author describesthe moth as a creature that should not exist because of how it lives.Unlike other creatures that fly at night, the moth flies during theday despite belonging to the same class (Atkins 134). A particularaspect of the moth`s life that captivated the author involved how itstruggled to survive the pathetic life. The author describes the lifeof the moth as pathetic. The article revolves around the life,struggle and death of the moth (Atkins 134).

Contrastand Comparison


HenryDavid Thoreau uses the battle between the ants to portray and mockhuman conflicts. Modern wars are caused by an increase incivilization of human beings. The author describes the battle of theants to portray the war as meaningless, a waste of time and resourcesas well as life. He establishes a symbolism between the fighting antsand humans almost immediately when he walks out to his pile of wood(Strang 129). He exaggerates some statement in the article toreinforce the fact that he is against the war. Most events in thearticle seem to illustrate that war is dangerous despite the settingand magnitude. He described the battle of the ants as miniscule yetwith potentially devastating effects. Thoreau focuses on the battlebetween two ants to establish the fact that the effects of war aredevastating despite the setting or magnitude. He describes the injurystatus of the two fighting ants as fatal and that which may lead toloss of life of one or all of them (Strang 130). The article does notaddress the cause of the war between the ants. The article alsostates that it is not known which race of ants won the war that hejust witnessed. The author instead concentrates on providing adetailed description of the consequences of the war of ants.

VirginiaWoolf uses the moth to establish the theme that involves theinevitability of death (Atkins 134). Life is wonderful, but death isan obvious rite of passage for every living thing. The authormaintains that struggling is part of human nature, regardless of thesituation involving the death. The struggle for life in the event ofdemise is a futile process because in the end, death usually conquerslife. Virginia acknowledges that death is stronger than her in theconclusion of the article. She widens the scope of the theme byincluding the demise of the rest of the nature (Atkins 135). EvenVirginia herself becomes still in death. In as much as a struggle forlife may appear to be a valiant act, death has a will that ispowerful than life. Death is inevitable.

Themain difference of the two authors in relation to the theme lies inthe perception of life and death. Henry David Thoreau valued life andillustrated that war is a futile mission. Virginia Woolf on the otherhand acknowledged the power of death over life and illustrated thatstruggling to defeat death is a futile mission. The difference alsoexists in the authors’ relationships with the events contained ineach article. Thoreau seemed to have stumbled on the war of the antswhile Woolf focused on describing the life of the moth in relation toher life.


HenryDavid Thoreau a fighting armies of ants to describe human nature inrelation to war and conflict. The war between the ants involves thered ants against the black ants (Strang 130). The black ants arerelatively large compared to the red ants. The ants have a totaldisregard of the opponents` life as they fight to kill. Virginia Wolfobserves the life of a single daytime life and uses the same toportray the nature of human beings in relation to death (Atkins 135).

Thedifference between the two articles exists in the method ofpersonification. In other words, the authors used different insectsand scope of events to describe human nature in relation to life anddeath. Thoreau presents a vivid account of the war of ants in hisyard while Woolf presents an intimate analysis of the life, struggleand the demise of the daytime moth. The difference lies in how theauthors focus on certain aspects of the insects to describe thenature of human beings. Thoreau`s description is on a large scale asopposed to Woolf`s observation of a single moth. The difference alsolies in the magnitude of representation of the insects and thesymbolism.


VirginiaWoolf’s writing style contains a lot of descriptive language,personification and oratorical devices (Atkins 135). The author usesthe elements of the style to portray the setting, plot and thecharacters of the story in a manner that is likely to stir emotions.The wide extent of descriptive language in the article is evident inthe rampant use of imagery in most statements (Atkins 125). Theauthor’s writing style was inspired by her depression among otherthings. The depression resulted from the death of her parentsaccording to the author’s biography.

Allegoryand metaphor predominate the writing style of Henry David Thoreau(Strang 132). The excessive use of the metaphor aims at creating adirect relationship between the behavior of the ants and human beingsin relation to the war. The author seeks to establish that just likeants, human beings are irrational in matters concerning war. War is apassionate event that overshadows the need to find alternatives thatare less devastating. The author also uses a lot of humor to mock thereasons of war. Just like ants, human beings fight to overpower anopponent and emerge superior as opposed to finding solutions. Thereis no clear winner in the end, meaning that the conflict has not beenresolved (Strang 131).


Myopinion about the inevitability of death is that it should not bebrought into the conscious minds of individual. It makes the processof living meaningless. The process of living includes all theactivities of an individual in each day. Death makes everything sadand gloomy. I would do everything to stay alive. Life is precious andshort.


Themajor differences exist in the themes, symbolism and writing style inthe articles. The most obvious similarity between the two authorsexists in the fact they focus on describing the nature of humanbeings in relation to life and death. Both articles seek to presenthow human beings regard life and death.


Atkins,G D. ReadingEssays: An Invitation.Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Internet resource.

Strang,Steven. WritingExploratgory Essays From Personal to Peruasive.Freeload, 2012. Print.