What is pathetic fallacy, or ‘the pathetic fallacy’? And what is its relation to art and literature? We can define the term ‘pathetic fallacy’ easily enough, but it’s worth unpicking the origins and implications of this phrase with some literary examples.
First, though, by way of introduction: a brief definition of what ‘pathetic fallacy’ means. Put simply, pathetic fallacy is when a writer ascribes human emotions to something inanimate, such as the weather, a landscape, or a natural feature.