Pathetic Fallacy in Hughes’ “The Rain Horse”


Are there any examples of Pathetic Fallacy used in Hughes’ short story “The Rain Horse?”


Yes, the Rain Horse is a good example using pathetic fallacy, which ascribes human motivations and emotions to non-humans. For instance, unnamed man sees horse making decisions to attack, hide and following man. There are also some examples of wood, which is alive and hostile towards man:

There are some examples in the descriptions of the wood, which is almost alive in its hostility towards the man:

He saw the rain pulling up out of the distance, dragging its grey broken columns… The little crippled trees were small choice in the way of shelter… he was away up the slope, whipped by oak twigs as he leapt the brambles….”
(The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes)

Here forest and different natural elements actively take part in the narrative, “dragging,” “whipping,” and “crippled” trees. Though there is no feeling of attack from forest as the horse does, however it does not assist him too except providing unintended cover.