The Pathetic Fallacy in Camus’ the Stranger and Yoshimoto’s Kitchen

1624 Words May 6th, 2011 7 Pages
The Pathetic Fallacy in Camus’ The Stranger and Yoshimoto’s Kitchen

English A1 – Higher Level World Literature Paper 1
Ojiugo Nneoma UCHE Candidate Number: 1415-068
1480 Words

May 2010

In Camus’ The Stranger, and Yoshimoto’s Kitchen, both authors use the literary technique 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 both aesthetically and in terms of meaning – by telling the inner emotions of the characters. However, while in Kitchen, the pathetic fallacy is employed throughout the text, in The Stranger, it takes centre stage only at the most crucial point in the book – with Meursault, the protagonist killing
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The “glittering” night in this case is thankfully left alone to ring with all its positive connotations; without the show – spoiling, depressing adjective “lonely”(6) or its companions. With the reoccurrence of death, loss and with them, sorrow, Mikage says: “I watched the gloomy clouds of the orange of the sunset spreading across them in the western sky. Soon, the cold night would descend and fill the hollow in my heart” (56). Scenery which in better circumstances would have been a beautiful sunshine and the coming of a peaceful night, become “gloomy” and “cold.” Thus, the “spreading” and “descen[t]” are not really of the sunset, or of the night, but of the sorrow that comes with loss. With the reappearance of hope in the final cycle, the pathetic fallacy is both a reflection on the past, as well as an evidence of tenacious hope. Mikage says: “The moon shone down from high above, crossing the sky, erasing the stars in its path. It was full. I watched it go behind a cloud, completely hidden, and re-emerge” (94). Stars usually have a positive connotation as they hold light in the sea of the night’s darkness However, in this scene, there is a seeming contradiction as they are “eras[ed]” (96). This is however merely ‘seeming’ because with the full moon, an atmosphere more positive than that of stars in a dark night is created. The moon leaves a bright

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