Pathetic Fallacy And Its Impact

Pathetic fallacy is the pattern of writing style where writers use human feelings for a non-human object. Here, pathetic means a bad feeling where fallacy indicates a deceitful or false situation. The combination of these two words indicates the writing flow, where writers use human moods to non-human things through falsehood. This term was first coined by the British writer John Ruskin where the author has used the span as the emotional falseness. This terminology was coined in the 18th century to portrait the sentimental attitude of writers towards nature. In this period, pathetic fallacy was termed as the false emotional description for non-living objects like nature.

Examples of pathetic fallacy:

In this period, there are examples of pathetic fallacy in different kinds of natural descriptions with pathetic fallacy. In many novels or fiction, writers use the quotes like "sunlight is smiling", "birds are singling mournfully", but it’s mainly for emphasizing. Through this pathetic fallacy, writers can express their fantasy towards personal or human feelings. Explicit of the human feelings towards human spirits such as the moon is smiling down, and others also can be the examples of pathetic fallacy.

Pathetic Fallacy And Its Impact

Pathetic Fallacy V/s Personification:

Pathetic fallacy is highly related to personification and anthropomorphism. Though there is a great difference between the pathetic fallacy and personification. Pathetic fallacy only involves the attribution of human fallacy towards non-human things.

Personification is the same thing where not only emotions but also human nature, actions, as well as other attributions are related to non-human things. For example, in many novels, there is the written description that, the sea is kissing the sky or the wave winking at the sun which are examples of personifications. Pathetic fallacy and personifications are mostly the same, but there is a small line of difference.

Pathetic fallacy is mostly related to human emotions. But when this emotion is related to non-human activities such as sheep herd is talking with themselves, or birds are falling in love with each other it's an example of anthropomorphism. But in19th century, there is a great importance of anthropomorphism to rejuvenate human feelings with the crystal clarity of animal behaviors. In that period, there was a nasty environmental condition for world war III, the industrial revolution, and many others. Pathetic fallacy is present in the novel for metaphor purposes where peoples can find their clear nature.

The most attractive implication of pathetic fallacy is observed in western poetry as well as literature such as Julius Caeser by William Shakespeare. Here the weather denotes the political situation of the king. It is observed in Julius Ceaser again and again through the sentences such as scolding winds, enraged oceans as well as threatening clouds. In this way, the author has emphasized the human qualities observed in the environment. The ambitious ocean is another example of pathetic fallacy as well as personification where the ocean is pointing towards the tremendous entropy going on in the political status quo of Julius.

Another great instance of pathetic fallacy is observed in Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Here the author has portrayed the view of a mad landscape. Here the landscape is playing a vital role in implicating the dramatic situation in a narrative format. Here the author has narrated through listening to the speeches of the sea, waves. Such a narration has made a difference with the appalling and desolated characters of the landscape. Here the speaking action of human beings is narrated through the words. Even here the gentle appearance of the sky is narrated as the gentle sky.

Effects of pathetic fallacy:

  • In literature, there is a discussion on emotions and human feelings.
  • Pathetic fallacy provides effect through the undertone of feelings and emotions.
  • In literature discussion, mainly in fiction, stories pathetic fallacy provides the effects of emotional suspense.
  • Another effect that provides pathetic fallacy in writing aspects is the transmission of feelings from the character of the book to the readers. In this way, the reader will come to know about the natural feelings of the books as well as correction.

As a whole, a pathetic fallacy in a single sentence is the way of personified communication which the author develops through characters between readers and feelings of the writing.