It’s common for us to use expressions that give objects human qualities and emotions. Clearly, objects are incapable of talking and feeling like humans are, yet giving them life allows us to develop a better understanding of a given concept. These figurative expressions are referred to as personification. You may also see simple sentence examples.
But like many other types of figurative speech, such as hyperbole expressions and onomatopoeic words, personification can be a bit complicated for younger children to comprehend. For the proper use of this literary tool, a thorough understanding of how personification works in both literature and everyday speech is essential.
A personification is a form of figurative language used to give objects or ideas human-like abilities, qualities or characteristics. Think about it. Does your mother’s chocolate chip cookies ever ‘tempt’ you to take a bite of it? Does your homework ever ‘hide’ from you whenever you need it? The best way to determine whether or not personification is applied is to examine the statement, and then ask yourself if it is something that a human being is more likely to do. This literary device helps make statements, stories or poems sound more interesting and descriptive to readers. By bringing non-human objects to life, it makes it a lot easier for authors to carry out their message. You may also see transitional phrases and sentences.
Let’s take this for example:
Imagine your alarm clock yelling at you like your mom does when you’re running late for school. While an alarm clock may have its own pair of hands to tell time, it doesn’t have a mouth nor a voice to make an actual sound. An alarm clock is simply an inanimate object used to warn us of a particular time of day, so it’s not possible for it to execute human actions (unless we’re talking about Cogsworth the clock from Beauty and the Beast, but that’s another story). You may also like sentence fragments.
In most cases, personification is taught to younger children through poetry. This is because simple poems, nursery rhymes, and riddles are a lot easier to grasp due to its smooth flow and natural tone of words. Teachers and parents can use these narratives to properly introduce the concept of personification to students. You may also see imperative sentence examples.
“Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
— Hey Diddle, Diddle by Mother Goose
The example above is a nursery rhyme filled with personification. Although we like to believe that animals are capable of feeling and executing human emotions, it’s unlikely to witness a laughing dog in real life. It’s impossible for a dish and a spoon to move on its own, either, let alone run away. Also, have you ever witnessed a cat play the fiddle in real life? You may also see run-on sentences.
“I’d love to take a poem to lunch
or treat it to a wholesome brunch
of fresh cut fruit and apple crunch.
I’d spread it neatly on the cloth
beside a bowl of chicken broth
and watch a mug of root beer froth.”
— Take a Poem to Lunch by Denise Rodgers
Here, the author personifies a poem in the simplest manner. To the speaker, the poem is something he or she could take out for lunch or brunch, while enjoying a scrumptious meal together. Although it may seem like a humorous thought to consider in the real world, there is a deeper meaning within the text that the poet is trying to get across. You may also see exclamatory sentence examples.
And because the level of one’s understanding is bound to develop over time, students are likely to be greeted with more complex writings incorporated with personification such as the one below:
“To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells”
— To Autumn by John Keats
This poem portrays Autumn as an actual human person. The changes that happen around us during the season is depicted in the poem, so perhaps the author captures the movements of Autumn as if it is Mother Nature doing its magic. You may also see compound sentence examples.
The use of personification goes beyond just poetry and literature, as it is also evident in our everyday language. In fact, you may have used these lines multiple times before, but because of how frequently it is applied to our language, you may not have noticed. Listed below are thirty examples of personification used in normal conversations: You may also see the interrogative sentence.
Apart from literature and daily speech, personification may also be used in advertising. It’s a fun way to entice customers with expressions that are sensible, yet relatively peculiar in nature. Personification, like other popular literary devices, adds color to our words in ways that allow the mind to wander. It’s imaginative enough to make you stop and think about the picture portrayed in the narrative, and it’s creative enough to turn a dull piece of writing into something enthralling. You may also see complete and incomplete sentences.