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Crux Lines from “The Death of the Moth” 12/9/03

 Organize the following lines into two categories.  One category should be “positive” and one should be “negative.”  The lines you place into these categories should contain sentiments or judgments that are either predominantly positive or negative.

  1. What he could do he did (line 28).
  2. 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 (lines 28-30).
  3. He was little or nothing but life (line 31).
  4. Yet, because he was so small, and so simple a form of the energy that was rolling in at the open window and driving its way through so many narrow and intricate corridors in my own brain and in those of other human beings, there was something marvelous as well as pathetic about him (lines 32-35).
  5. 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.  Thus displayed one could not get over the strangeness of it (lines 35-38).
  6. Again, the thought of all that life might have been had he been born in any other shape caused one to view his simple activities with a kind of pity (lines 40-41).
  7. 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 (lines 61-64).
  8. 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 on strangely (lines 66-69).
  9. Just as life had been strange a few minutes before, so death was now as strange (lines 74-75).
  10. O yes, he seemed to say, death is stronger than I am (line 76).