What is personification in English?

Personification is the attributing of human characteristics, thoughts, or emotions to something that is non-human. It is a rhetoric device that is used to convey something more than a literary meaning of a sentence.

Example: The heavens wept at the incident.

Now, in this sentence, heavens cannot weep but the idea of emotions and weeping is produced through “wept”. Heaven is non-living and it is weeping just like humans do. Hence, the sentence features personification.

Example: The thunder clapped angrily from a distance.

Definitely, the thunder cannot clap. It is a non-living thing but the writer wants to convey the intensity of clapping by a huge audience tickling the imagination of the reader.

Why Is Personification Employed?

Adding personification to a piece of writing can develop a certain tone and more deeply illustrate a work's theme. Hence, it is usually employed in English literature in poems and prose. Books are repleted with instances of such literary device of personification.

Updated on: 30-Jul-2019


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