both authors use the literarytechnique of pathetic fallacy – a branch of personification – which gives to the weather and physical world, human attributes. In both texts, this technique enriches the narratives bothaesthetically and in terms of meaning – by telling the inner emotions of the characters.However, while in
the pathetic fallacy is employed throughout the text, in
it takes centre stage only at the most crucial point in the book – with Meursault, the protagonist killing the Arab. This paper will examine the purpose of both authors in using the pathetic fallacy, and the significance each place on this technique.Yoshimoto places great emphasis on the pathetic fallacy, using it frequently. Thisfrequency is due largely to the cultural context of the story.
is based in Japan, where aculture of covert and coded language abounds in daily life and conversation; in a country wherethere are two social modes – ‘honne’, one’s true but generally hidden feelings, and ‘tatemae’,the feelings which one shows when in public and which literally means ‘facade’
.Thus, the pathetic fallacy is Yoshimoto’s way of augmenting the ‘honne’ moments of her protagonist,Mikage. In the weather and the elements we see reflected, Mikage’s deep and true emotions;emotions which a culture of facetious conversations has made difficult to convey, even inmoments of self conversation – the ‘honne’In Camus’
the justification for the use of the pathetic fallacy lies, not inculture, as is in Yoshimoto’s
, but in characterization, Meursault being set up as theabsurd man. Meursault’s killing of the Arab is at a crossroads in definition: Is it a murder, andthus an ‘act,’ or is it merely an ‘event.’ The pathetic fallacy of the scene dissuades an ‘act’definition by incriminating “the sweat and sun” (Camus 59). Thus, Meursault is absolved of murder, and the killing of the Arab becomes just an “event.” If Meursault’s killing of the Arabis not premeditated, motivated, wilful, nor intended, then Meursault kills in a state of absurd
( Wiktitionary © Wikipedia)
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