Personification Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Personification?
Personification is a literary device that uses the human qualities of things, animals, and ideas to create vivid imagery in text. It is used to bring life and energy to descriptions by giving them anthropomorphic characteristics. Personification can be an effective way to draw attention to certain aspects of a story or setting while also allowing readers to envision the scene more clearly. Personification is often used in poetry and prose, as it adds an emotional quality that would otherwise be difficult to convey. For example, when describing a sunset in a poem, personifying the sun as if it were taking its final bow on the horizon can create an image of farewell and goodbye that helps readers connect emotionally with the scene: The sun bowed down low, bidding farewell for another night. In novels, personification can help create fully-realized characters out of objects or concepts that might otherwise seem dull or lifeless. When writing about a stormy day in her novel Wuthering Heights Emily BrontÃ« famously wrote: The wind was howling around us like some wild animal. This line instantly brings life and emotion into what could have been just another description of inclement weather. In comedic works such as cartoons or humorous essays, personification often takes on exaggerated characteristics that are meant to make people laugh at the absurdity presented. A common example would involve making something mundane sound dangerous: My alarm clock snarled at me this morning like an angry bear. Personification plays a key role in literature by adding depth and clarity not possible through simple descriptions alone. By ascribing human attributes where they otherwise don’t exist, writers can bring their stories alive with emotion and vitality.