What started out as an ordinary day turned out to be one if the worst tragedies in the history of Bangladesh – the fire at Nimtoli in Dhaka. I sat in shock as I saw the news reports of the tragic incident showing numerous buildings on fire burning mercilessly, people running in havoc with no idea where loved ones are and yet others trapped inside the buildings, screaming, being burned alive. However, nothing seemed to have any effect on the ruthless fire which kept on burning, claiming as many lives as it could, turning a deaf ear to the desperate cries of hundreds of people. The blazing flames simply devoured everything in their path, burning them to ash. It finally subsided in the early ...view middle of the document...
As suddenly as Woolf picked up a pencil to aid the moth, she “laid [it] down again” (386). She gave up trying to help the moth knowing that it was “useless to try to do anything” (386). “[N]othing, [she] knew, had any chance against death” and hence she resigned without even trying to help the moth (386).
Though Woolf designates death as the most powerful force of nature, she does not portray it as a violent force, surprisingly; rather she depicts death as being calm and peaceful, a force that ends life’s struggle - an appealing thought. Woolf describes the moth as “decently and uncomplainingly composed” at death, in an attempt, it seems, to suggest that death should actually be accepted willingly (386). What Woolf fails to acknowledge is the struggle that the moth put up against the force of death. Woolf unfortunately overlooks the fact that if death is a function of nature, then it is nature that dictates death and therefore it is nature that is the superior force.
The idea of nature being the driving force of life is addressed by Roy Reed in his essay “Spring Comes to Hogeye”. In his essay, Reed describes an old man, Mr. Solenberger who was truly connected with nature. Even at the old age of eighty-six, he found in himself the energy to continue his gardening – his way of staying in touch with nature at all times. His ties to nature are further revealed as he discloses his gardening secrets: plowing deep and planting by the ground. Mr. Solenberger thrives in the energy of spring when “life is at a high ebb” (393). Spring in Hogeye represents life – when everyone is busy gardening, when “Seth Timmons’s meadow [turns] from brown to green” and when “swallows [build] nests in weathered barns” (391).
However, Mr. Solenberger also notes that “more of [people] die in the winter when the days are short” (393). Shorter days imply less energy which leads to more people dying. Mr. Solenberger himself observes this phenomenon, as he himself dies in winter, during the low ebb. Not only Mr. Solenberger but all objects connected with nature observe this law of nature. Even Woolf’s moth dies as a result of the absence on the outside energy. However, in this case, Woolf unfortunately seems detached from nature; observing natural phenomena in great details yet not being affected by them. She still deems death to be the ultimate power over life, where life always surrenders to death.
This, however is not always the case. At this point I am reminded of what I saw during the Nimtoli fire incident. Apart from recovering dead bodies from the burned houses, the firemen also uncovered and rescued several survivors of the tragedy: people who were hiding under metal frames and furniture to protect themselves from being burned to death. And they did! They actually saved themselves from imminent death, just by their strong will to live.
This is not the only example of the attempt of living beings to desperately hold on to lives. Perhaps one of the strangest...