objective correlative

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objective correlative

n.
A situation or a sequence of events or objects that evokes a particular emotion in a reader or audience.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

objec′tive correl′ative


n.
a situation or chain of events in a literary work that objectifies a particular emotion in such a way as to evoke that emotion in the reader.
[1919; term introduced by T.S. Eliot]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Saeta' may literally mean 'arrow' or 'dart,' figures of which may be prominent in the paintings; they're objective correlatives to movement.
His work is not infused with a reverent pantheism nor does it overtly seek objective correlatives for a literal-as-metaphorical bilingualism; it does, however, share a willingness to allow life to lead to perceptions and knowledge that would otherwise be missed by the arrogating methods of the current avant-garde who appropriate the actual and force upon it a plasticity to be molded by the self-centered imagination.
Such an imagination is the subject of A Gothic Soul, whose solitary, nameless protagonist I will call "the Troubled Man." It hardly matters whether or not the author's creation is plausible or that his emotional agonies and ecstasies lack "objective correlatives." It is the artful depiction of the wavering motion of his mind that establishes the permanence of the transient.
They're especially handy as objective correlatives, like stage props or weather.
The vast, deserted, and impersonal spaces of Toronto, where most of the movie was shot, are unsettling objective correlatives, connoting the void in the teacher's life, and the film's brisk, spare approach to dialogue and action suits its uncanny air.
In one of the most assured sections of the book, Schmidt traces Guyon's approach to the Bower of Bliss, and finds that for Spenser "Guyon-qua-discoverer must reject, as objective correlatives for the true Britain, both the images of a desert wilderness and that of a superficially paradisal island" (73).
First, "physical portraits" become "objective correlatives of feeling." Second, as in Clarissa, the "portraits of individuals and tableaux" of social gatherings "dramatize the divergence between the public and the private self, and articulate the relationships within family and social groups" (176).
For all I know, the protagonist's rants against "Diversity Outreach ('just as horrifyingly inept as its name suggests') [and] a history teacher who worships Wilson, Kennedy and FDR ('that's verbatim; she actually said holy trinity')" are objective correlatives that gives us a fuller view of this character.
Words change into images and symbols, which provide objective correlatives for the readers to feel the effect of a given situation.
But Ong managed to express his excitement in a series of notable essays: "The Jinnee in the Well-Wrought Urn" (1954), "Voice as Summons for Belief: Literature, Faith, and the Divided Self" (1958), and "A Dialectic of Aural and Objective Correlatives" (1958), which are reprinted together with other essays from this highly creative period in Ong's life in The Barbarian Within: And Other Fugitive Essays and Studies (1962).
Eliot in Italia (1968) and Laura Barile's Adorate mie larve (1990), among others, have explored the links, both stylistic (especially, of course, the poets' use of objective correlatives), and thematic (their common tendency, for instance, to read the present as a time of decay).