May 1995
Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary & Cultural Criticism;1995, p221
A definition of the term "pathetic fallacy" is presented. It refers to a literary convention in which human emotional qualities are attributed to natural phenomena that have no capacity for human feeling. Art critic John Ruskin coined the term pathetic fallacy which has been overused by the romantics. However, later critics have used the term descriptively wherein they abandoned its pejorative sense.


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