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A pathetic fallacy is a literary device in which the internal developments of the character are reflected outwardly in the seasons. Many alchemical novels of the 19th century in particular tended to employ this device, however it is hardly limited to this period.

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby" offers many instances of pathetic fallacy. In the beginning, when his life starts to change for the better, it seems to be springtime. At the end of the novel, by contrast, he is killed by his own defiance of natural cycles: he was murdered in his pool in the heart of autumn, and had he not cleaved to the past perhaps he would have had more of a future. The pool should not have been open, he should not have been there.


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