John Ruskin invented the phrase in Modern Painters (1843-1860). The pathetic fallacy is a needed norm in various traditional literary forms, such as the pastoral elegy. It means that aspects of the natural world are used to express human emotions, such as sadness or joy.
It can be seen in poems such as William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan". These poems use images from nature to describe the emotions felt by their authors.
In literature classes, students are often asked to identify which novels contain examples of the pathetic fallacy. Some common examples are: George Eliot's "Adam Bede" and "The Mill on the Floss"; Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure" and "Two Women"; Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" and "Don't Look Now"; and John Steinbeck's "Sweet Evangeline" and "The Grapes of Wrath". Many more examples could be listed.
Students should also be able to identify modern examples of the pathetic fallacy.
A British writer called John Ruskin developed the phrase "pathetic fallacy," which he characterized as "emotional falseness." Ruskin used the phrase to critique the emotional attitude of 18th century Romantic writers toward nature. They would often write about natural scenes that they had admired, then proceed to describe those same scenes in gloomy terms when discussing other people.
So the pathetic fallacy is the mistaken assumption that what happens to one person or thing also affects others closely related to them, such as friends or family members. This belief is common among humans, but it doesn't make sense with things that are outside of human control: storms, for example, have no idea who they're hurting by striking out at someone they don't know.
The word "fallacy" here doesn't mean a mistake made while reasoning or thinking, but rather an incorrect argument intended to convince others through logic. The term was first used by Aristotle to describe arguments that lack logical form or structure. In other words, any argument that tries to persuade through emotion instead of reason has committed the fallacy of the pathetic fallacy.
For example, if I were to argue with you that flowers cause love because there are many examples of loving relationships between people of different species, this would be a case of the pathetic fallacy.
The word "pathetic fallacy" refers to the literary term for attributing human emotions and behavior to objects seen in nature that are not human. It is a type of personification that happens in poetry descriptions when, for example, clouds appear glum, leaves dance, or rocks appear uninterested. These things are not aware of their emotions, so they cannot be blamed for being sad, happy, or indifferent.
In fiction, the pathetic fallacy is often used by writers to create emotion in their readers or listeners. For example, if a writer wants their reader to feel sorry for a character who has lost something important, then they might describe that object as looking sad. This might include using adjectives like "gloomy", "dejected", or "down in the mouth". The reader/listener will then feel sorry for the character because they are imagining what it's like to lose something very precious.
Writers sometimes use the pathetic fallacy to explain away events in their stories that seem inconsistent with how humans act under normal circumstances. For example, if someone was injured while playing sports and then went on to win the game, the author might attribute their success to luck rather than skill to make the story more believable. This is called "making the best of a bad situation."
The phrase "pathetic fallacy" was first used in writing about 1866 by the English poet and novelist Matthew Arnold.
A pathetic fallacy occurs when an author imbues nature or inanimate objects with human emotions and characteristics. It is frequently utilized in weather descriptions to indicate people' moods and may establish a tone or add atmosphere to the text. Pathetic fallacies are often but not always associated with sadness.
The term "pathetic fallacy" was first used by French philosopher René Descartes in 1669 to describe the idea that humans can attribute thoughts and feelings to inanimate objects such as mountains or trees. He used the example of someone who believes that because a mountain looks steep, must be difficult to climb. Cartesian philosophy played an important role in establishing modern science, so this concept was key in laying the groundwork for geology, meteorology, and other disciplines.
In literature, the pathetic fallacy is used to describe scenes where it seems like nature is mourning something - a storm is crying, trees are waving their branches, etc. This is done primarily to add emotion to the story or scene. For example, if a writer wanted to portray fear in their readers they might use the pathetic fallacy to convey how afraid they should make them feel. There are two types of pathetic falls: natural and artificial.
Here's a fast and easy explanation: When a writer attaches human feelings to things that aren't human, such as objects, weather, or animals, this is called a sad fallacy. It is frequently employed to make the world mirror a narrator's or other characters' inner experience. Examples include attributing feelings to inanimate objects such as rain or the wind, or to animals such as clouds or birds. These phrases are examples of the pathetically fallacious: "like a rock," "like feathers," "like water off a duck's back."
There are two types of pathetic fallacies: personal and impersonal. With personal fallacies, the writer takes something that is unique to someone's identity or personality and applies it to other people or things within the story. For example, if a character is very honest, then it would be logical for the reader to assume that everything that person says is true. However, if this same character were to lie about their identity or claim to know something when they don't, this would be an example of a personal pathetic fallacy. Impersonal fallacies apply the same concept to things that are common to all humans, such as emotions. For example, if a character was angry all the time, we would not need to refer to them as "a cold person" or "a heartless man"; these descriptions would be appropriate for someone who was always upset.
Pathetic fallacies can be found in many stories.