Pathetic fallacy… Many people might be bemused by this term, but would undoubtedly know exactly what it is without knowing it… Pathetic fallacy – the personification of inanimate objects in  nature,  for example and most usually, giving the weather human actions and emotions, usually to reflect the mood of a character or some aspect of plot in a piece of writing.

Here are some examples:

  • from Macbeth, about the night Duncan was murdered – “The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
    Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
    Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of death,
    And prophesying with accents terrible
    Of dire combustion and confused events
    New hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird
    Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth
    Was feverous and did shake.”
  • Wuthering Heights – “I heard distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard, also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to the right cause”
  • Keats’ ‘Ode to melancholy’ – “But when the melancholy fit shall fall
    Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud
    That fosters the droop-headed flowers all
    And hides the green hills in an April shroud”
  • Dracula – ” It was evident that something very exciting was either happening or expected, but though I asked each passenger, no one would give me the slightest explanation. This state of excitement kept on for some little time. And at last we saw before us the Pass opening out on the eastern side. There were dark, rolling clouds overhead, and in the air the heavy, oppressive sense of thunder. It seemed as though the mountain range had separated two atmospheres, and that now we had got into the thunderous one.”

Here is today’s suggestion to try and inspire you – try writing something using pathetic fallacy!

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3 thoughts on “Writes of Spring – 22nd April

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