Literary Devices: Personification

Hey Lovelies!

Happy Thursday to you all! I hope everyone’s week has been going well so far and that you have some fun plans for the weekend. Today we’ll be talking about personification and then I swear we won’t be talking about really closely related literary devices for a while. In fact, this one will flow quite nicely into our topic next week of setting descriptions.

Let’s start off with our definition:

Personification: is a figure of speech in which a thing – an idea or an animal – is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings.

I know this sounds exactly like anthropomorphism. They are extremely similar. There is a slight difference. Anthropomorphism describes animals and objects with human characteristics. Personification is a description that gives whatever human like characteristics. Anthropomorphism is active and personification is more passive. Anthropomorphism means that the animals are also characters. Personification the animal or object isn’t really a character.

I hope that’s as clear as mud for you sly foxes! (See what I did there?)

How do we use personification in our own writing:

  • It help us develop themes. By having you compare and contrast inanimate things in your story you can have it relate back to your character(s)’s life and what they’re going through.
  • It helps to create tone. The weather raging outside doesn’t make for a good tone for your scene and you can have this reappear throughout your story.
  • It helps develop the atmosphere of your story. 
  • Personification also uses metaphors and similes to helps get its description and purpose across (see my little joke above).

Simile: a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lioncrazy like a fox ). Similes generally use “like” or “as” in their comparisons.

Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

  • However, like almost anything, too much of something just doesn’t work – it’ll get boring and you’ll use your readers. Unless you, of course, are using it to elicit humor, then totally go for it.

That’s it for me today! I hope you all have a great weekend! I will talk at you all next week. Just a reminder we will be talking about setting descriptions!

Until next week!




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