The poem “The Lesson of the Moth” explains the point of view of why moths choose to fry themselves in an electric bulb. The moth expresses their willingness to die as long as they are exposed to the beauty of light. The speaker expresses ambivalence when they are startled by the moth’s decision to fry themselves but at the same time envies the moth for finding happiness (Marquis, 1958). The poem strives to show that people should pursue what they want as long as it makes them happy; after all, everyone will die. Therefore, it is better to die after various experiences than to have achieved nothing in life. Nevertheless, the theme and mood in this poem radiate positivity – moth experiences risk but justifies the means by showing that they get what they want in the end.
Generally, the poem has an irregular rhyme scheme. It lacks musicality because of the lack of a regular rhyme scheme, assonances, and consonances. The poet uses the personification of the moth, which, in reality, is an animal that cannot talk. The poet also uses imagery by expounding on the moth’s point of view about the beauty of a bulb. One can read through the love that the moths have for the bulb due to the imagery. Nonetheless, the poem barely uses various poetic devices such as hyperbole and rhythm.
Based on my own beliefs, views, and current worldview, I can say with firm confidence that the position of the moth who tried to break the light bulb most appeals to me. Within the framework of this poem, the situation of uncertainty and risk gives the moth a certain chance for freedom, happiness, and contemplation of the beauty of light. However, from the point of view of modern realities, risk gives people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and achieve success and new heights: in themselves, in their careers, and in their personal life. I think that without such a kind of combination of probability and consequences, many great personalities would not be able to give humanity beautiful works of art, scientific inventions, and functional objects. Without the approach of the self-killed moth, people would still be living in caves and would not be able to go outside to the light, bright sun, and charming nature.
Marquis, D. (1958). The Lesson of the Moth. Marquis, Archy, and Mehitabel. London: Faber & Faber.