Personification in Literature

Diving into the tapestry of literature reveals the artistry of personification, a tool that paints words with human touches. This technique, age-old yet ever fresh, infuses tales with vibrancy by attributing human traits to non-human entities. Beyond mere decoration, personification connects readers to stories on a deeper emotional level. Delve into iconic examples, grasp the nuances of crafting such eloquent prose, and harness the power of personification examples to make your narratives truly come alive.

What is personification in literary poetry? – Definition

Personification in literary poetry is a figurative language device where non-human objects, animals, or abstract concepts are given human attributes or emotions. By imbuing the inanimate with human characteristics, poets can evoke stronger emotions, create vivid imagery, and forge a deeper connection between the reader and the subject matter. This technique breathes life into the verses, making them more relatable and evocative.

What is the Best Example of a Personification in Literatures?

One of the most celebrated examples of personification in literature comes from William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” In the poem, the daffodils are depicted as “dancing” and “fluttering” in the breeze: “Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” Here, the daffodils are personified, suggesting they’re actively dancing, which paints a vivid and joyful image in the reader’s mind.

100 Personification Examples in Literatures

Personification Examples in Literature1
File Format
  • PDF

Size: 123 KB


Literature thrives on personification, where inanimate objects, concepts, or animals are endowed with human qualities. This age-old personification literary device paints vivid imagery, making abstract feelings tangible and the inanimate animate, bridging a connection between the narrative and its readers.

  1. The wind whispered secrets to the trees.
  2. The sun smiled down on the children playing below.
  3. Time creeps up on you.
  4. The ocean danced in the moonlight.
  5. Lightning danced across the sky.
  6. The old house groaned in the wind.
  7. The car complained as the key was roughly turned in its ignition.
  8. The tree branches reached out, as if trying to touch the sky.
  9. The camera loved her every pose.
  10. The waves roared in the twilight.
  11. The flowers nodded their heads in agreement.
  12. Fear knocked on the door.
  13. The chocolate bar was calling out to me.
  14. The stars winked from the night sky.
  15. The alarm clock screamed at me to wake up.
  16. The mountain stood tall against the horizon.
  17. The moon played hide and seek with the clouds.
  18. The thunder grumbled like an old man.
  19. The door protested as it opened.
  20. The vegetables begged to be picked.
  21. The leaves danced their way to the ground.
  22. The computer threw a fit.
  23. The fog swallowed the city whole.
  24. The storm chased the people indoors.
  25. The fire swallowed the entire forest.
  26. The vines strangled the building.
  27. The radio burst into song.
  28. The clouds wept all evening.
  29. The shadows of the trees danced in the campfire.
  30. The tornado howled in anger.
  31. The rain kissed my cheeks.
  32. My car gave a happy purr.
  33. The wind sang through the meadow.
  34. The night sky cloaked the city in darkness.
  35. The forest echoed with laughter.
  36. The mountains declare their majesty.
  37. The river sang a sweet lullaby.
  38. The pen cried out in frustration.
  39. The snow blanketed the town in serenity.
  40. The walls have ears.
  41. The hurricane’s eye watched the city.
  42. The cactus saluted those who ventured the desert.
  43. The books in the library spoke volumes.
  44. The tea kettle announced it was ready.
  45. The car’s brakes screeched in protest.
  46. The tulips flaunted their vibrant colors.
  47. The piano moaned a melody of despair.
  48. The stairs creaked underfoot.
  49. The road stretched endlessly before him.
  50. The setting sun kissed the horizon goodbye.
  51. The novel unfolded its mysteries.
  52. The horizon devoured the sinking sun.
  53. The cake begged to be eaten.
  54. The breeze whispered tales of old.
  55. The grass tickled my feet.
  56. The castle has stood the test of time.
  57. The desert stretched its arms wide.
  58. The apples tumbled from the tree.
  59. The lighthouse beamed across the bay.
  60. The coins argued amongst themselves.
  61. The volcano spat out its anger.
  62. The world turned its back on him.
  63. The stars plotted the night’s events.
  64. The moonlight tiptoed across the room.
  65. The city never sleeps.
  66. The curtains sighed as they were drawn.
  67. The avalanche devoured everything in its path.
  68. The popcorn leapt out of the pan.
  69. The river stole the precious soil.
  70. The house basked in the sun.
  71. The rocks stubbornly refused to move.
  72. The wind howled its midnight lament.
  73. The chair held firm.
  74. The sunflower basked in the golden hour.
  75. The city lights twinkled with glee.
  76. The trees held their breath.
  77. The staircase spiraled, dizzy from height.
  78. The fire spat angry embers.
  79. The ruins remembered better days.
  80. The brook chattered over pebbles.
  81. The mirror reflected her soul.
  82. The thunder clapped an ovation.
  83. The barn watched over the farm.
  84. The butter melted from the sun’s gaze.
  85. The trees waved at the passing cars.
  86. The old bridge sighed under the weight.
  87. The mountains bow to the sky.
  88. The radio spit out tunes.
  89. The heavens cried their sorrow.
  90. The mailbox waited eagerly.
  91. The sun stretched its golden arms.
  92. The feather floated to rest.
  93. The canyon echoed back.
  94. The clouds spun tales in shapes.
  95. The lamp guarded the room.
  96. The candle’s flame danced merrily.
  97. The rose reached out for the morning dew.
  98. The dessert was a symphony of flavors.
  99. The clock’s hands raced.
  100. The blanket hugged me tight.

Personification Examples in Literature with Meaning

Personification is a vivid tool in literature, endowing inanimate objects or ideas with human attributes. By bestowing life-like qualities, authors enhance emotional resonance and build relatability. Here’s a deep dive into such instances, complete with meanings.

  1. “The wind stood up and gave a shout.” – Meaning: The wind blew forcefully, as if announcing its presence.
  2. “The street lights blinked sleepy eyes.” – Meaning: The flickering street lights resembled tired eyes.
  3. “The fields whispered tales of old.” – Meaning: The fields, affected by the breeze, seem to tell ancient stories.
  4. “The sun peeked cautiously over the horizon.” – Meaning: The sun rose slowly and gently.
  5. “The teapot sang its little song.” – Meaning: The sound made by boiling water in the teapot.
  6. “The mountains bow to the heavens.” – Meaning: The mountains are tall, majestic, and humble before nature’s vastness.
  7. “The fire danced in the fireplace.” – Meaning: The flames moved rapidly and unpredictably.
  8. “The ocean begged the shore for a dance.” – Meaning: Waves crashed onto the shore rhythmically.
  9. “The old clock sighed at each hour.” – Meaning: The clock chimed, reminiscent of a sigh.
  10. “The leaves waved goodbye to summer.” – Meaning: Leaves falling during autumn, marking the end of summer.

Personification Examples in Literature with Explanation

Engaging readers often requires more than straightforward narration. Personification, a method where non-human entities are given human traits, is a key literary device. Let’s examine some instances and their underlying interpretations.

  1. “The fog wrapped the city in a blanket.” – Explanation: The fog was so dense it seemed to cover and protect the city.
  2. “The moon wore a veil of clouds.” – Explanation: Clouds passed in front of the moon, partially obscuring it.
  3. “The flowers danced in the breeze.” – Explanation: Flowers swayed gracefully due to the wind.
  4. “The old tree guarded the secrets of the forest.” – Explanation: The ancient tree stood tall, as if holding many tales.
  5. “The rain tapped on my window.” – Explanation: Raindrops hit the windowpane in a rhythmic manner.
  6. “The angry storm threw tantrums across the town.” – Explanation: A violent storm caused havoc in the town.
  7. “The stars gossiped in the night sky.” – Explanation: Stars twinkled brightly and variably as if they were communicating.
  8. “The car coughed before starting.” – Explanation: The car made a spluttering noise before its engine started.
  9. “The wind sang her mournful song.” – Explanation: The wind blew in a way that sounded sad or melancholic.
  10. “The diary holds a lifetime of whispers.” – Explanation: The diary contains intimate and personal details of someone’s life.

Personification Examples in Classic Literature

Classic literature often employs personification to breathe life into inanimate concepts, painting memorable, emotive landscapes. Here are instances where renowned authors used this technique masterfully.

  1. “The wind cried Mary.” – Jimi Hendrix
  2. “The ancient road is full of Autumn mirth.” – Keats
  3. “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.” – Emily Dickinson
  4. “The city’s heart began to beat.” – Wordsworth
  5. “The teacups ride their storm.” – Sylvia Plath
  6. “The sea that bares her bosom to the moon.” – Wordsworth
  7. “The hungry ocean smiled at the ships.” – Shakespeare
  8. “The yellow leaves flaunted their color.” – Robert Frost
  9. “The Sunne in bed, curtain’d with cloudy red.” – John Donne
  10. “The darkness pressed against the windowpane.” – Virginia Woolf

Personification Examples in Children’s Literature

Children’s literature often uses personification to simplify complex ideas and make them relatable. Here, objects and animals think, feel, and act like humans, sparking imagination and understanding.

  1. “The clock was exhausted from its endless ticking.” – “Time Tales”
  2. “The moon had a face like the clock in the hall.” – “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear
  3. “The teapot said to the kettle.” – A traditional nursery rhyme
  4. “The little toy dog is covered with dust.” – “The Little Toy Dog” by Eugene Field
  5. “The dish ran away with the spoon.” – “Hey Diddle Diddle” Nursery Rhyme
  6. “The wise old train thinks and chooses its routes.” – “Trains Talk”
  7. “The brave toaster went on an adventure.” – “The Brave Little Toaster” by Thomas M. Disch
  8. “The carpet flew across the world.” – “Aladdin and the Magic Carpet”
  9. “The velveteen rabbit became real because of love.” – “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams
  10. “The wind called out to the boy.” – “The Windy Day” by Anna Milbourne

Famous Personification Examples in Literature

Literature’s timeless quality often owes to the universal themes explored and the devices used. Personification, giving life-like qualities to non-living things, remains a favorite. Here are some iconic instances from famed texts.

  1. “The stars are not wanted now: put out every one.” – “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden
  2. “The moon, like a flower in heaven’s high bower.” – “A Night-Piece” by William Wordsworth
  3. “The sun, in his state, robes of the closing year.” – “Mutability” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  4. “The waves beside them danced.” – “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth
  5. “Death lays his icy hand on kings.” – “The Grave” by James Shirley
  6. “The sea of faith was once, too, at the full.” – “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold
  7. “The world is too much with us.” – William Wordsworth
  8. “The daffodils tossed their heads in sprightly dance.” – William Wordsworth
  9. “The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year.” – “The Death of the Flowers” by William Cullen Bryant
  10. “Hope is the thing with feathers.” – “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson

Personification Examples in Literature for Kids

Personification can be a fantastic tool to engage young readers, helping them see the world in a new, animated way. By giving objects and animals human-like qualities, children’s literature becomes enchanting.

  1. “The pencil danced across the page as she wrote.”
  2. “The chocolate bar was feeling lonely in the box.”
  3. “The mountain played peek-a-boo through the clouds.”
  4. “The book was eager to be read.”
  5. “The shoes begged to be tied.”
  6. “The toys slept in the toy box.”
  7. “The kite soared in the sky, feeling free.”
  8. “The mailbox waited patiently for letters.”
  9. “The computer greeted him with a cheerful ding.”
  10. “The flowers in the garden played hide and seek.

Why is personification used in literature?

The Power of Imagery: Literature seeks to evoke emotions, paint vivid pictures, and pull readers into the narrative world. One of the primary reasons authors use personification is its unmatched ability to create powerful and memorable imagery. When objects, ideas, or nature are portrayed with human characteristics, it gives them depth and evokes empathy. The reader can visualize a “whispering forest” or a “jealous moon,” making the narrative more immersive.

Making Abstract Concepts Relatable: Authors often grapple with abstract themes or emotions. Personification helps in grounding these abstract concepts, making them more tangible and relatable. For instance, describing time as a “thief” can convey the fleeting nature of moments more poignantly.

Elevating Emotional Resonance: By assigning human attributes to non-human entities, writers can amplify the emotional resonance of a scene. A “crying sky” can reinforce the sorrow of a character or situation, drawing deeper emotional responses from the reader.

Enriching Symbolism: Symbols play a significant role in literature. Through personification, ordinary elements can be transformed into potent symbols. A “raging storm” can signify internal turmoil or impending doom, adding layers to the narrative.

How do you Write Personification in Literature?

  1. Identify the Purpose: Before diving into personification, ask yourself why you want to use it. Is it to set a mood, emphasize an emotion, or make an abstract idea concrete?
  2. Choose Your Subject: Decide on the non-human entity you want to personify. It could be anything from an object, animal, nature element, or abstract concept.
  3. Assign Human Traits: Think about the emotions or actions you want to convey. Does the river “sing,” the fire “dance,” or the clock “whisper”?
  4. Use Strong Verbs: The strength of personification often lies in the verbs. Instead of the sun “moving” across the sky, perhaps it “marches” or “parades.”
  5. Maintain Consistency: If you’re personifying an element throughout your piece, maintain consistent traits. A tree might be “wise” and “patient,” but suddenly making it “frivolous” can confuse readers.
  6. Test It Out: Like any literary device, personification can be overdone. After writing, read it aloud. Does it sound forced or clichéd? If so, reconsider or modify.

Tips to Writing Personification in Literature

  1. Stay Relevant: Ensure that your use of personification is relevant to the context. If it doesn’t add to the narrative or theme, reconsider its inclusion.
  2. Avoid Overuse: While personification can enhance descriptions, overusing it can make prose feel overloaded and insincere. Strive for balance.
  3. Be Original: Avoid clichés. Instead of the age-old “heart of gold,” perhaps a character has a “compass of unwavering north,” signifying moral direction.
  4. Incorporate Other Devices: Blend personification with other literary devices like metaphors, similes, or alliteration for richer imagery.
  5. Study the Masters: Read works renowned for personification. Poets like Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, or Robert Frost can offer inspiration and insight.
  6. Seek Feedback: Share your work with others. They can offer valuable input on whether your personification feels genuine and adds to the narrative’s depth.
  7. Edit and Refine: Like all aspects of writing, personification benefits from revisiting and refining. Edit with fresh eyes, ensuring each instance adds value.

In essence, personification is a versatile and powerful literary tool. When wielded with care and creativity, it can illuminate themes, elevate emotions, and enchant readers.

AI Generator

Text prompt

Add Tone

10 Examples of Public speaking

20 Examples of Gas lighting