Personification with animals

Anthropomorphism - Definition and Examples

Definition of Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism is a literary device that can be defined as a technique in which a writer ascribes human traits, ambitions, emotions, or entire behaviors to animals, non-human beings, natural phenomena, or objects.

Difference Between Anthropomorphism and Personification

Anthropomorphism is also a type of personification that gives human characteristics to non-humans or objects, especially animals. However, there is a slight difference between these two. Personification is an act of giving human characteristics to animals or objects to create imagery, while anthropomorphism aims to make an animal or object behave and appear like it is a human being.

Pinocchio, the famous wooden doll, was anthropomorphized when he was given the ability to talk, walk, think, and feel like real boy. Fables and fairy tales usually have characters that can serve as anthropomorphism examples.

Examples of Anthropomorphism in Literature

Example #1:

The Jaguar (By Ted Hughes)

“But who runs like the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,
As a child at a dream, at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes

On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom –
The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,
By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear –
He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:
His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
Over the cage floor the horizons come.”

This poem is based on a jaguar, a fierce animal. Hughes is showing the world to his readers through the eyes of a jaguar that is thinking like a human.

Example #2:

Animal Farm (By George Orwell)

“Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you … Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough.”

Animal Farm is one of the perfect examples of anthropomorphism. In this excerpt, one of the pigs named Old Major is delivering a political speech to his fellows against the evils imposed by the human rulers. Here, Old Major is instigating them to rise to rebellion against a tyrant human. This entire use is a good example of anthropomorphism.

Example #3:

A Dog’s Tale (By Mark Twain)

“My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education … When I was well grown, at last, I was sold and taken away, and I never saw her again. She was broken-hearted, and so was I, and we cried; but she comforted me as well as she could …”

The protagonist of this story is a dog, which is describing his life as a puppy. The story is told from the loyal pet’s perspective. The dog possesses human traits like emotions, shame, fear, anguish, happiness, and hopelessness.

Function of Anthropomorphism

There are various reasons for using anthropomorphism. The primary one is to make a wider appeal to the readers. With the use of objects or animals, the story can become visually appealing and non-threatening to readers. Hence, it could attract the attention of a wide audience (including children) by presenting animated characters in tales and animated movies. In literature, it serves as an effective tool for creating political and social satires. Hence, it has a wider scope than merely to entertain children.

Personification Examples, Definition and Worksheets

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Table of Contents

Personification is when human characteristics are given to something that is not human. While we may typically think of “not human,” or non-human, as an animal or object, personification can also apply to abstract ideas. Physical forces, like destruction or creation, can also be given human characteristics. However, we usually think of personification with objects and living organisms (such as plants or animals). When a figure or an object is given human characteristics, it is being personified.

For example:

The cat danced around the toy mouse before pouncing on it.

In this example, the personification comes from the word “danced.” Cats cannot dance in the way humans do, but we are giving a human characteristic to the cat in order to describe the way in which the cat moves around the mouse.

Scholars sometimes use the word prosopopoeia instead of personification. There is usually a slight difference in how scholars use it. Personification is used when human traits are given to anything non-human. On the other hand, prosopopoeia is more often used when the figure or thing being personified can, and usually does, speak.

While we think of personification usually with nature, personification can give human characteristics to bodies or groups of objects too. These objects could be man-made or synthetic materials. For instance, Charles Dickens often uses personification to describe and give life to his city settings. In A Tale of Two Cities, he uses personification to give life to the city of London and Paris. Since cities, which consist of groups of buildings and objects, cannot talk, Dickens describes Paris by giving the city different voices and traits.

Identifying Personification

The following statements personify objects, nature, or animals.

  1. The dog patiently sat at the door until he was let outside.
  2. The dog is given the human characteristic of patience.
  3. The gentle breeze swept over the field of grass.
  4. The breeze is given the human characteristic of mild behavior and moderation.
  5. The telephone ringtone cried out in the middle of the night from a late phone call.
  6. The phone is given the human characteristic of crying.

The following examples of personification are found in literature:

From “Blackbird” by The Beatles:

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night…”

The blackbird is given the human power of song and is described as singing.

From “Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” by William Shakespeare:

“Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;”

Shakespeare is providing two examples of personification. The first is that he gives heaven an eye. In this sonnet, Shakespeare is referring to the sun. Not only is the sun an eye on the face of heaven, giving a human body to nature, but the gold color of the sun becomes the skin of the face. Therefore, the sun is an eye to the face of the sky, and the sun also provides a gold hue to what Shakespeare is describing as the skin and body of the sky.

From A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:

“…and the roar of the city changed to this extent–that it still rolled in like muffled drums, but with the wail of voices that he knew, in the swell that rose above them.”

Dickens describes the city through the sound of wailing, making the city seem ghostly, sinister, and chaotic. The city itself cannot wail or beat drums, so Dickens uses human traits of wailing and beating drums to help give description and character to the city itself.

Personification Worksheets

This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use personification worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of what personification is and how it can be used. You can use these personification worksheets in the classroom with students, or with home schooled children as well.

Personification Fill-In Circle the Personification Fill in the Personification

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Use With Any Curriculum

These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.

Personification - definition.

Ever since school, we have all heard about such a concept as personification. What is it? Many have probably already forgotten. What is this literary trope, what is it used for and what is characteristic of it. Now we will try to remember and understand this issue in more detail.

Personification: definition of the concept, detailed description

Often this literary method is used in fairy tales. Personification is the giving of thoughts, feelings, experiences, speech or actions to phenomena, inanimate objects and animals. Thus, objects can move independently, nature is a living world, and animals speak with human voices and are able to think in a way that only people can do in reality. The origin of personification dates back to the ancient world, when everything was based on myths. It is in myths that talking animals are first encountered, as well as giving things uncharacteristic properties for them. At the same time, one of the main tasks of personalization is the approximation of the abilities of the inanimate world to those that are characteristic of the living. nine0003

Examples of personification

You can understand the essence of personification more clearly by giving a few examples:

  • Willow cries (willow is a tree, and therefore cannot weep, this is just a description of its spreading flexible branches, which resemble relentlessly flowing tears).
  • Guitar playing (the guitar itself cannot play, it only makes sounds when someone plays it).
  • Nature fell asleep (the phenomenon when the street is quiet and calm is called the sleepy state of nature, although it cannot sleep, in fact, the wind simply does not blow, and it seems as if everything around is bewitched by sleep).
  • Thunder rolled across the sky (he doesn't have a cart to ride on it, it actually made a sound of thunder that spread through space). nine0016
  • The dense forest became thoughtful (it is calm and silent in the forest, which supposedly characterizes its thoughtfulness and gloom).
  • A goat sits in a sheaf (he eats hay with his head down and not tearing it off, and not literally sitting in a sheaf and sitting in it).
  • Winter has come (in fact, she can't walk, it's just another time of the year. Besides, the verb "come" is also a personification).
  • What part of speech is personification

    What does this mean? A personification (a word that gives life to objects) is often a verb that can be both before and after the noun that it describes, or rather, sets it into action, animates it and creates the impression that an inanimate object can also fully exist. like a person. But this is not just a verb, but a part of speech that takes on many more functions, turning speech from ordinary to bright and mysterious, into unusual and at the same time capable of telling a lot that characterizes impersonation techniques. nine0003

    Personification is a concept with a wide range of meanings

    In many modern sciences, the term "personification" is widely used. This word...

    Personalization as a literary trope

    Literature is the source of the most colorful and expressive phrases that animate phenomena and objects. In another way, in the literature, this trope is also called personalization, embodiment or anthropomorphism, metaphor or humanization. It is often used in poetry to create a more full and melodic form. Personification is also often used to make fairy-tale characters more heroic and admirable. That this is a literary device, that any other, such as an epithet or an allegory, all serve to embellish phenomena, to create a more impressive reality. It is enough to consider only a simple literary phrase: "The night bloomed with golden lights." How much poetry and harmony in it, the flight of thought and dreaminess, the colorfulness of the word and the brightness of the expression of thought. One could simply say that the stars are burning in the night sky, but such a phrase would be full of banality. And just one single personification can radically change the sound of a seemingly familiar and understandable phrase for everyone. In addition, it should be noted that the personification as a part of literature appeared due to the desire of the authors to bring the description of the characters of folklore closer to the heroism and greatness of those spoken of in ancient Greek myths. nine0003

    Basic artistic techniques. Artistic techniques in...

    What are artistic techniques for? First of all, in order for the work to match...

    The use of personification in everyday life

    We hear and use examples of personification in everyday life almost daily, but we do not think about what they are. Should they be used in speech or is it better to avoid them? At their core, incarnations are mythopoetic in nature, but over the long time of their existence they have already become an integral part of ordinary everyday speech. It all started with the fact that during the conversation they began to use quotes from poems and other literary works, which gradually turned into familiar phrases. It seems that the usual expression "the clock is in a hurry" is also a personification. It is used both in everyday life and in written speech and literature, but is in fact a typical personification. Fairy tale and myth are the main sources, in other words, the foundation of those metaphors that are used in conversation today. nine0003

    Reincarnated personification

    What is it? This statement can be explained from the point of view of the evolution of personification. As a means of expression, personification in ancient times was used as a religious and mythological device. Now it is used to transfer the abilities of living beings to inanimate objects or phenomena and is used in poetry. That is, personalization gradually acquired a poetic character. In our time, there are many disputes and conflicts about this, since specialists from different scientific fields interpret the nature of the personification in their own way. The reincarnated or ordinary personification still has not lost its meaning, although it is described from different points of view. Without it, it is difficult to imagine our speech and, in fact, modern life. nine0003

    Animals as symbols - Presenta

    The life of people from the beginning of their appearance on Earth was closely connected with the life and existence of animals. Both wild and domestic animals are of great importance in our lives. It is no coincidence that people have long tried to carefully and reasonably treat wild animals and take care of domestic animals in every possible way. Gradually, the concept of animals "our smaller brothers" entered the literature and into everyday life.
    Almost all peoples of the world have animals and birds featured in beliefs, fairy tales and legends that have been formed for thousands of years. Animals entered into various religious beliefs, and some of them fell into the category of sacred. Everywhere and always they served people as a source of various signs. nine0050 By the will of the ancient astronomers, various animals appeared in the sky - more than 30 constellations, in particular the signs of the zodiac, were named after them. Not surprisingly, the term "zodiac" among the ancient Greeks meant "animal" (the word "zodiac" comes from the Greek word "zoon" - "animal").
    The word "symbol" in all languages ​​of the world means "conventional sign, identification mark". And animals became symbols of gods or any qualities, alchemical or moral symbols, spiritual symbols. In many countries, animals and birds beloved by the people have become symbols of the nation, the state, and their images are emblazoned on emblems and flags. nine0050 With the help of symbols and talismans, you can attract happiness, wealth, health, develop some qualities in yourself. A detailed description of animal symbols will help you choose an animal that is close in spirit, which will bring various benefits to life and help you cope with difficulties.

    A symbol of kindness, naivety, generosity, calmness, measuredness. In 1961, the image of the Panda became the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The panda is the national symbol of China. The Panda figurine will give peace of mind, defuse the situation, help you relax after a hard day. nine0003

    A symbol of love, diligence, speed. The Dolphin figurine is given as a talisman against danger not only on the water, in the Christian tradition it symbolizes resurrection and salvation. Two figurines of Dolphins are given to preserve marital fidelity.

    A symbol of goodness, wealth and dawn. He embodies such qualities as perseverance, perseverance in achieving the goal. It is also a symbol of purity and innocence. Gives the owner perseverance and purposefulness. nine0003

    A symbol of courage, courage, supreme power, nobility, pride. Giving a figurine of a Lion, you emphasize the strength, courage, greatness of the person to whom you want to give a gift. The figurine of the Lion will bring success, health and will protect its owner. The figurine of the Lioness is endowed with special semantics: she is both a symbol of motherhood and an attribute of the invincible power of love. The lion is the national symbol of England, the black-maned lion is the symbol of Ethiopia.

    A symbol of devotion, vigilance, courage. Man's best friend bestows on his master the emotions of joy, love, friendliness, fidelity. The dog, because of its loyalty, means the relationship that must exist between the student and the master. nine0003

    A symbol of love, tenderness, sincerity. In Christianity, the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Dove and dove symbolized marital fidelity, pure love. Gives the owner a state of love, compassion, purity and health.

    In Feng Shui, it is a strong symbol that protects against theft, loss, robbery and accidents. Put a Rhino in your living room to prevent people with bad intentions from entering your home or harming your family members. The presence of the Rhino figure in the car will protect you from an accident. The use of this amulet in the office at the workplace will contribute to a good atmosphere at work, as with its impenetrable armor, the rhino will protect you from gossip and malicious intent of colleagues. nine0003

    A symbol of courage and grace. One of the main friends and helpers of man. In heraldic symbolism, the horse combines the courage of a lion, the vision of an eagle, the strength of an ox, the speed of a deer and the dexterity of a fox. Its owner bestows endurance, courage and virtue. The figurine-talisman will contribute to the fulfillment of desires. The horse is the national symbol of Mongolia.

    A symbol of strength and power, as well as good nature. The personification of memory, wisdom, longevity, fidelity, patience, compassion. The talisman with the image of the Elephant will give the owner energy, wisdom, fortitude, improve memory, help gain authority among friends and colleagues, and contribute to successful business. The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand. nine0003

    Symbol of eternity, immortality, wisdom. The “serpent power”, coiled and dormant at the base of the spine, is called the energy of kundalini. Gives health, wisdom, strength, esoteric understanding of the world.

    A symbol of wisdom, because it goes into itself and is a protection for itself. In China and Japan, it is a symbol of longevity and senile strength. The turtle gives the owner wisdom, responsibility, patience, the ability to achieve goals, career growth. nine0003

    A symbol of dexterity, cunning, learning. Gives the owner diplomacy, dexterity, extraordinary mental abilities, success in business.

    A symbol of holiness, independence and magical powers of Nature. It is a sacred animal of many peoples. The cult of cats - the symbol of the goddess Bast - originated in ancient Egypt. The cat creates a cosiness in the house and keeps female family happiness. Cat and Cat symbolize the greatness of the night: desire and freedom, comfort and warmth. For Feng Shui followers, the Cat is a symbol of strength and protection, including from robbers, because at night she sees everything very well. The talisman will give its owner magical abilities, protection, intuition. nine0003

    A symbol of beauty, immortality and fearlessness. Hindus considered this bird sacred. To have her next to him meant to protect himself from snakes. In Greek mythology, the Peacock is a symbol of family well-being and happiness. In the Christian religion, the Peacock is a divine being. Peacock bestows beauty, a state of self-sufficiency and protection in risky ventures.

    Symbol of the earth, patroness of the hearth. For many peoples, the frog acts as the creator of the universe. In Feng Shui, the frog is one of the symbols of protection. It is also a symbol of immortality. Gives the owner the protection of Mother Earth and the Cosmic Mother. Promises a good husband. nine0003

    A symbol of wisdom, erudition, sensitivity, prophetic gift, moderation and melancholy. An owl is able to see at night, feel, understand and predict events. The talisman in the form of an Owl will reveal to its owner the secret knowledge and secrets of wisdom.

    Symbol of dawn, rebirth, vigilance. The rooster symbolized the element of fire and was a talisman against evil spirits. His image often adorned the roofs of Slavic dwellings. Grants independence, freedom, the ability to win. It also helps to increase popularity, the implementation of plans. The rooster is the national symbol of France. nine0003

    A very ancient symbol of good luck and wealth. An amulet with fish is able to support its owner in a difficult situation, improve health and give financial success. Gives a state of peace, tranquility.

    A symbol of energy, strength and success, but at the same time destruction, because energy can be both creative and destructive. The owner of the amulet with the image of the Tiger, in addition to powerful protection from the evil eye and damage, also acquires the qualities of the beast - strength, power, pressure and fearlessness. According to Feng Shui, the spirit of the White Tiger is so strong that there is simply no better defense against evil. The Tiger Talisman must be used with great care, as it is a very wild beast. With an inappropriate attitude towards him, he can release his claws against the inhabitants of the house, instead of protecting them. The tiger is the national symbol of India. nine0003

    As a creature that gives milk, the cow is an international symbol of motherhood, fertility, feeding and abundance, and in addition, because of the crescent-shaped horns, it is the heavenly sign of all mother goddesses, as well as chthonic personification of mother earth. For Hindus, a cow is a sacred animal that cannot be killed. The cow is the national symbol of Holland.

    Solar symbol, which is an attribute of the solar gods in many cultures, midday sun, spiritual beginning, height, ascension, liberation from bonds, courage, victory, pride, apotheosis, greatness, royal origin, power, strength. The double-headed eagle means the possibility of strengthening power. This is one of the most ancient symbols. A talisman in the form of an Eagle or with its image will make the owner even more noble and glorify his spirit. The eagle is the national symbol of Germany. nine0003


    A symbol of calmness and equanimity in any situation. The striped figurine will become your talisman. If there are changes in life, buy a Zebra figurine - it will help you get used to a new place without any problems and easily survive separation from your past life.

    A symbol of agility, the sacrifice of small things in the name of more.

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