There’s another technique opposite from pathetic fallacy, in which the weather is completely opposite from the emotions of the character. Having the weather be sunny on a day when a character is sick and feeling horrible gives the reader a sense of annoyance, as if the author chose the wrong weather for that situation and made a mistake. But adding a scene like that could add to character and plot development.
Take, for example, a character named Sam got the news that he was accepted into his dream college. He goes outside to drive to his friend’s house and tell him that they can attend college together and sees that it is pouring torrential rain, so much so that he can barely see the outline of his car. Sam decides to call his friend and tell him the news instead so that his visibility while driving isn’t compromised. Now, reading this part of the book for the first time, a reader would most likely not suspect anything. However, an author could easily be adding in major foreshadowing that Sam’s dream college experience will be horrible. This could put a seed of thought into the reader’s mind so that, when Sam fails all of his classes because of their extreme difficulty, it makes some sort of sense that his college experience wasn’t all that he had expected.
Have you ever used this technique or seen it used? How did it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!
I’ve seen this used a few times, and it does help to instill doubt within the reader’s mind about the character’s emotions.