Literary Devices from A to Z – Brought to you by the letter W




is for Weather




Pathetic fallacy is when inanimate objects of nature–specifically the weather–mimic human emotion. The distinction between pathetic fallacy and personification is as follows: personification “gives human attributes to abstract ideas, animate objects of nature or inanimate non-natural objects” (Literary Devices).

An example of this occurs in Phase Shift. After Molly finds Stanley’s body, she says,

At the foot of Stanley’s driveway. In the rain.  Police offer me hot drinks and dry blankets. Refuge from the drizzle in a cruiser. They think they’re helping. Won’t help take the chill off. 

On this night, the weather is cold and rainy, the perfect atmosphere for coming to terms with finding a body that appears to have spontaneously combusted and for finding out that you may be under investigation for setting the fire.

Think about the weather during “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)” in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, or the lightening gathering as Macbeth meets the witches on the heath. What other notable uses of the weather via pathetic fallacy stick out in your mind? Share your ideas in the comments below.