Understanding Personification: Giving Life to Inanimate Objects

As humans, we have a natural tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects, giving them human-like qualities such as emotions, actions, and personalities.

This literary device, known as personification, has been used throughout history to add depth and meaning to written works, while also capturing the reader’s attention.

Defining Personification

Personification is a literary device that attributes human characteristics to non-human things, such as animals, objects, or concepts.

It is a type of metaphor that gives these non-human entities the ability to perform human actions, feel emotions, and have personalities.

By using personification, authors are able to add depth and meaning to their work, while also creating a more relatable and engaging narrative.

Examples of Personification

Personification has been used throughout literature, from ancient myths and fables to modern novels and poetry. Here are a few examples of personification in literature:

“The wind whispered through the trees.” – In this example, the wind is given the ability to whisper, a human-like action.

“The sun smiled down on us.” – The sun is given the ability to smile, another human-like action.

“The car coughed and sputtered before finally starting.” – The car is given the ability to cough and sputter, as if it were a person with a cold.

“The waves danced on the shore.” – The waves are given the ability to dance, a human-like action.

Significance of Personification in Literature

Personification is an essential literary device that is used to add depth and meaning to written works.

By attributing human characteristics to non-human entities, authors are able to create a more relatable and engaging narrative, while also evoking emotions in the reader.

Personification can be used to make abstract concepts more tangible and concrete, while also highlighting the interconnectedness of all things.

In addition to its role in literature, personification is also used in advertising and branding to give products and companies personalities that consumers can relate to.

By personifying their products, companies are able to create a more emotional connection with their customers, which can lead to increased sales and brand loyalty.

Personification in Different Literary Genres

Personification can be found in a wide variety of literary genres, including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

In poetry, personification is often used to create vivid imagery and metaphor, while also exploring abstract concepts such as love, death, and nature.

In fiction, personification can be used to create memorable characters and evoke emotions in the reader, while also highlighting the themes and motifs of the work.

In non-fiction, personification can be used to make abstract concepts more concrete and relatable to the reader, while also making the work more engaging and interesting.


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