Pathetic Fallacy

pathetic fallacy

In the most simple terms, Pathetic Fallacy can be understood as assigning human emotions to the things that naturally can’t possess them. The term was first introduced by John Ruskin where his belief was the way a poet project his/her emotions of a part situation kind of giving a false vision or reflection. The term Pathetic Fallacy is also attached to the Gibbs Reflective Cycle. This is the framework that will be used by an author to give a proper structure to the essay he/she is writing. It will include a description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and then finally wrapping it up with the action plan. Following this framework will help the students to establish a better connection with the reader or the audience. 

Definition of Pathetic Fallacy

This is a figure of speech that will be used when an author tries to assign human emotions to the natural world or to some specific parts of it. Pathetic Fallacy is the term that will be used for objects like trees, animals, weather, etc. Nowadays, the term is commonly used even for everyday use items that are not natural. 

Talking about the derivation of the term, it is derived from pathos; a greek term that means emotion. This can also be related to the English word Pathetic, though in a very distant manner. 

Some examples of Pathetic Fallacy

There are various examples that one can take from poetry, as well as literature. However, this is not used to malign the work of any author or poet. Pathetic Fallacy is considered as an integral part of the art that the author possesses. For a very quick example, in ‘I wandered like a cloud’ by W Wordsworth, the poet writes “tossing their heads in sprightly dance”, where the term is used for daffodils that are enjoying the waves of a lake that is by their side. 

  1. The best example of this term can be Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s pretty evident that nature can’t hate anything. However, it’s also true that if there will be a vacuum, it will not be very stable in the atmosphere, hence nature will try to do away with it.

  2. His favorite jeans, bitter after years of overuse, finally and spitefully ripped down the middle. Another example that can make someone understand the term in a much better way. The jeans or any clothing will never have any emotions but when someone has something for long, they tend to build an emotional relationship with it. It must be clear that this is not the pathetic fallacy if used strictly as the jeans are not a natural object. 

Importance of pathetic fallacy

This is the part of literature where the author/poet will get to use it to assign a mood to some object. This will also help the audience in connecting better and hence a good mood and atmosphere will be set while reading. While assignment writing, if the pathetic fallacy isn’t used, the structure will lack the totality and the writeup will carry less emotion and feeling. 

The sole purpose of this figure of speech is to enhance the engagement with the audience and also improve the quality of the essay dramatically.

Methods of writing with pathetic fallacy

When an author decides to pen a story, there are multiple points and factors that are needed to be considered. A writer must try to produce content that is engaging and doesn’t bore the audience at all. This technique will solve the problem to a very extent and the writeup will end up in its best version. 

Here are some methods that one can follow to implement this figure of speech in a better way.

Try to be that object

When the author is trying to write an essay and is trying to make it engaging, the first thing that may help in getting a better idea is to get in the shoes of that object. The author must see the world from their perspective. It will help him/her to narrate the story with the emotions that a human will feel.

Decide the emotion

The next thing a writer should focus on is to decide what that object feels. It will be according to the situation and it can be any form of human emotion such as angry, happy, excited, sad, etc. It will then help him/her to choose the right vocabulary for that emotion in respect of that object. The audience will instantly feel connected and the quality of the content will significantly improve. 

Use matching phrases

While describing the emotion of any animal, natural object, or anything, try to find the phrases that match with the personality of that object in that situation. The author may find it very brainstorming but it’s worth it. For example, if the object is a soccer ball, the author can define it as it jumped, rolled, or flown towards the goal. 

When to use pathetic fallacy?

The author must note the nature of the writing. If he/she is writing a scientific project, pathetic fallacy must never be used. This figure of speech is only for the category of creative writing. This is also a great tool to feel a special connection to the natural objects and to our belongings. This figure of speech is also seen in almost all the literature that is written around the world. 

Finishing touch to the pathetic fallacy…

Everyone loves to personify their favorite belongings or an object that is close to them. Not only the writers, be it, but poets or authors, all of us also use pathetic fallacy in our daily lives. We name our gadgets, cars, etc., this is also a very good example of this figure of speech.

There are some very direct relations of pathetic fallacy with the Clinical Reasoning Cycle. The only thing that one must take care of is that it only applies to creative writing and using it in any scientific writeup will deteriorate the quality of the essay to a great extent. 

Latest Blog