Best Personification Examples
Personification is a type of figurative language by which the writer describes the non-human as having human qualities. Look at this elementary example of personification. “The car smiled at me.” The car is described as smiling, but smiling is a human quality. The fact that the car “smiled” is personification because the car here didn’t actually smile. It’s not a human. For whatever reason, it appeared to the writer that the car smiled at them.
Maybe the front of the car is configured in such a way that it looks like a face, that it looks like it’s smiling. Maybe it was more of the writer’s imagination. Whatever the case, this is an example of personification. The writer is giving a human quality, smiling, to a non-human. Sometimes, personification can include giving human qualities to animals, like in George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”, where animals re-enact an entire war.
That can be the case as well. Generally, I think it personification as pertaining to inanimate objects, but it can be animals as well. “The tree groaned in the wind” is another example of personification. Here, the tree is a non-human, yet the author is giving it this human quality of groaning. You may think, “Okay, if a tree is going back and forth in the wind, it may sound like it’s groaning.”
Yes, it may sound like it’s groaning, but here, the author is saying that the tree actually groaned, which cannot be true, because trees don’t have mouths. This is an example of personification, like I said. Although the tree made a groaning sound, the tree did not actually grow. Personification can be used for a variety of reasons. Often, it’s to make the reader look at something with a different perspective.
Personification evokes a different tone than if we consider this sentence. If the author just said “The car looked like it was smiling at me,” that sentence sounds different than, “The car smiled at me.” Depending on whatever tone the author is going for, the author may choose to use or not to use personification.
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Last updated: 07/11/2018