Exploring Pathetic Fallacy: A Guide to Conveying Emotion through Nature


What is a Pathetic Fallacy

Want to convey a specific emotion in your writing more excitingly? Use pathetic fallacy! This literary device entitles you to attribute human emotions to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract concepts. Finding it difficult to understand the idea of pathetic fallacy as a literary device, particularly without examples? “Do My Assignment” is here to aid you if you're doubtful about what is Pathetic Fallacy or how it should be analyzed in texts.

Let's begin now! Read the blog listed and eliminate all your confusion reading this literary device.

What Is The Pathetic Fallacy?

A pathetic fallacy is a figure of speech or phrase that is used in an untrue sense to achieve a particular result. When inanimate objects, animals, or natural components are treated as though they can feel emotions, it is a fallacy known as the pathetic fallacy. 

pathetic fallacy illustration

Pathetic fallacy is frequently employed to characterize the environment by imposing feelings on nature. Due to this, ominous thunderstorms, somber bird songs, and cheery flowers frequently appear in literature. To emphasize the action in the story, non-human components can be treated as characters.

The Origin of the word “pathetic" is not used in the negative sense; rather, it refers to the Greek word "pathos," which means feeling. Similarly, the term "fallacy" also refers to deception (the sun does not physically grin) rather than erroneous logic. A pitiful fallacy would be a logical error if accepted literally; however, this is untrue.

Pathetic Fallacy Definition

Once you are aware of the origin of the term Pathetic Fallacy, it is time to dig into the definition of Pathetic Fallacy.

Pathetic fallacy is a literary device used to externalize sentiments and depict a character's perspective on a situation through related imagery. By doing so, authors may more fully envelop their readers in the worlds of their novels and create participatory narratives.

What Are Some Examples Of Pathetic Fallacy?

Finding it difficult to understand. Do not worry; the best way to fully comprehend this literally device is to witness it in action, so let's have a look at several examples.

You can usually notice pathetic fallacy used to weather in literature, for instance:

  • Angry storms began to roll in.
  • The tree seemed indifferent.
  • A table that looks exhausted.

The pathetic fallacy is an awesome technique if you want to add extra passionate weight to your sentence. Let’s have a glimpse listed sentence that conveys how this technique is used to fetch human emotions to weather patterns:

  • 'The raindrops wept around him.
  • ''A friendly sun shone brightly on the party guests as they arrived in the garden.
  • ''The weather is miserable outside.'

Not only this, but this literally device is also used by some literary greats in their most famous pieces of writing. Listed are some examples of poems, novels, and plays that create innovative usage of this technique:

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Ode to Melancholy by John Keats
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

What role does Pathetic Fallacy play in Writing?

When we talk about the Pathetic fallacy, it is a commonly used technique that is used in every form of writing. Whether it is poems, novels, plays, or films, it can also be used in every form of text, whether it is text, plays, or films.

In the case of the pathetic fallacy, the literary technique is employed to more fully depict a character's emotions by externalising them in a visual fashion and to communicate a character's feelings towards a circumstance through associated imagery.

How to Use Pathetic Fallacy in Writing?

Because of its value in creating and deepening imagery, pathetic fallacy is often used to set the tone or mood of a text, to layer emotion and visual description, and to engage readers more deeply.

Commonly, it is linked to weather and seasons. Common tropes include rain to signify sadness, bright skies and sunlight to portray a character’s happiness, and wilting/drooping flowers to symbolize heartbreak.

Where to Use Pathetic Fallacy in Writing?

Pathetic fallacy is when authors use emotions or descriptions tied to nature or objects to make their writing more vivid. It helps readers feel like they're part of the story. Usually, these descriptions come before the thing they're talking about. For example, if a non-human thing is described with a feeling word, it might be a pathetic fallacy.

But you should also check if it's really describing an emotion or just a general trait.

For example, in 'weeping willow,' 'weeping' shows the tree is sad, telling us someone in the story is sad too. But in 'The Dancing Sunlight,' it's just making the sunlight seem alive, not saying it's happy or anything.

when and how to write pathetic fallacy

Pathetic Fallacy vs. Personification

Isn’t these two words giving the sounds familiar? Are you excited to know the distinction between these? It can be confusing, but there's a difference between pathetic fallacy and personification.

Personification is the practice of imbuing non-human entities, such as objects or concepts, with human characteristics. For example, saying "the rain sang against the window pane" gives rain a human quality, which is singing.

On the other hand, A little more explicit would be a Pathetic fallacy. It occurs when we attribute human feelings to non-human entities, frequently in relation to the weather or the changing of the seasons.

This helps create a mood in a story. For instance, describing the sun as happy or the rain as sad is a pathetic fallacy. It's often used to show the emotions of a character in a story.

A comparison chart that shows Pathetic fallacy is different from personification

Here's a comparison of Pathetic Fallacy and Personification in tabular form:

Aspect Pathetic Fallacy Personification
Definition Giving human emotions to nature or objects, often related to the weather or seasons. Giving human qualities, behaviors, or traits to non-human things or abstract concepts.
Example Describing a storm as angry or the sun as happy creates a mood. Giving human actions to non-living things, like "the wind whispered through the trees."
Focus Primarily on conveying emotions and moods in a text. More broadly, attributing human characteristics to objects or ideas.
Typical Usage Often used in literature to reflect a character's feelings or to set the tone of a scene. Common in literature and everyday language to make descriptions vivid and relatable.
Emphasis Emphasizes the emotional connection between characters and the environment. Emphasizes the human-like qualities assigned to non-human entities.
Relation to Characters Usually tied to the emotions of characters in the story It May or may not be related to the characters' emotions; it can serve various narrative purposes.

In summary, while both Pathetic Fallacy and Personification involve attributing human characteristics to non-human things, Pathetic Fallacy specifically deals with emotions and mood, often tied to characters, while Personification is a broader technique that can involve various human qualities or behaviors.

How to Analyse Pathetic Fallacy and Its Effect?

When you're studying a text, an important thing to look at is how emotions are connected to nature or objects, called "pathetic fallacy." You can find clues by looking at describing words placed before things. These words show what emotion a character is feeling by describing the thing's emotion.

When you read, underline these describing words. They tell you what feeling the character has by describing the object's feelings. For example, in 'Weeping Willow,' the word 'weeping' shows that the tree is sad, which tells us a character in the story is very sad too.

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