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Why Writing Matters

06 Jun 2017Other Essays

Abstract

There are many reasons why writing is important. For one thing, it is used to record information such as in scientific papers and to spread news to the remotest region on earth as in journalism. Another purpose of writing is to convey one’s opinion or views about certain issues, such as in the essays Allegory of the Cave by Plato and The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf. Both contain very far-reaching thoughts about life or death. In essence, writing matters when people do not want to listen to such far-reaching ideas. 

Why Writing Matters

There are many reasons why writing is necessary. For one thing, it is used to record information such as in scientific papers and to spread news to the remotest region on earth as in journalism. These purposes correspond to the needs of the people. Different types of writing materials are sold in the markets to serve different purposes. 
Perhaps one of the important purposes of writing is its use in conveying one’s opinion or views about certain issues, such as in the essays Allegory of the Cave by Plato and The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf. Both contain very far-reaching thoughts about life and death. Both essays are significant in their ways. Both essays shows us why writing matters. 

Allegory of the Cave

The Allegory of the Cave, written by Plato in his book The Republic, is by far the most comprehensive and far-reaching analogy he had. Plato’s purpose of writing this essay may have been to promote his Theory of Forms. He used the image of prisoners inside a cave who were chained and couldn’t turn their heads. All they can see was the wall of the cave where shadows were casted by the objects through a burning fire behind them. The shadows were mere representation of the real objects but since the prisoners were not able to turn their heads, they could not see the reality. Instead, they fed on those images, consider them the reality, and called them names. 

This idea is very new to people that they can hardly comprehend. Plato would have ended killing himself if he chose a public discourse about his views, though, he still ended this way. Writing is so powerful yet so disguised. It can contain the most powerful idea such as Plato’s. He had the awareness that people during his time had no reason to think of. Lucky he was able to write his ideas and used them to initiate change in the status quo. He was able to draw the attention of the people during his time by his writings. He did it by using striking images to represent the uncommon for easy comprehension. The image of the prisoners chained in the cave was one of his striking images which he also used to spread his views regarding Athenian democracy compiled in The Republic. 

The Death of the Moth

Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth” is an explanation of the brief life of the moth which also corresponds to the true nature of life and death. In essence, the moth represented life to her as she wrote, “He [the moth] was little or nothing but life.” 

Woolf’s use of this striking image to represent life summarizes her view on life and death. The images created out of sheer observation are presented in a manner appealing to the eye. For instance, she presented the dead body of the moth in a profound way that is appealing to the senses. This makes her essay more interesting yet her view on life can be easily seen amidst the vastness of her images. The images were just there to enhance the view of the larger picture. 

Writing is Power

Writing is a powerful tool to present one’s views on just about anything that concerns human beings. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, he was able to present his Theory of Forms in a way easy to comprehend. In Woolf’s The Death of the Moth, she was able to present her views on life and death in a way appealing to the senses. The power of writing can help change this world. Writing really does matter. 

References

  • Plato. The allegory of the cave. In Robert Diyanni (2nd Ed.) One Hundred Great Essays, pp. 598-602. New York, NY: Penguin Academics.
  • Woolf, V. The death of the moth. In Robert Diyanni (2nd Ed.) One Hundred Great Essays, pp. 805-808. New York, NY: Penguin Academics.

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