Woolf's point in this essay is that there is no fundamental difference between the dying of the moth and the death of a human being. We both die alone, and for both of us, death is inevitable. We both, moth and human, make the most of the short lives we have, and we both struggle valiantly against death, fighting as hard as we can to stay alive as long as we can. The moth Woolf describes, which lives and dies within a day, is a microcosm of the human being: our lives also go by too quickly to fathom, and we too take in with full energy whatever limited piece of the universe we happen to find ourselves in. Woolf makes the analogy of moth death to human death explicit when she writes,
One could only watch the extraordinary efforts made by those tiny legs against an oncoming doom which could, had it [death] chosen, have submerged an entire city, not merely a city, but masses of human beings; nothing, I knew, had any chance against death.