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How to Use Personification in Your Writing

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One of the most common devices used by writers to imbue their work with personality is personification. This technique involves assigning human qualities or characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or abstract concepts. In order to understand personification, it’s important to first have a basic understanding of the definition.

A Definition of Personification:

Personification is when an object, idea, or concept is given a human quality or characteristics.

What is Personification?

Personification is the attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects, natural phenomena, or abstract concepts. It is a common convention in folklore and poetry for a character to be referred to as “the wind,” “the rain,” or “the snow.” The purpose of personification is often to create an allegory or metaphor in which the thing being personified represents a universal experience or quality.

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How to Use Personification in Your Writing

Personification is a literary device that allows an entity to be described in terms of human characteristics. This can be done intentionally, or it can arise due to the author’s interpretation of the character’s nature. In either case, personification can add depth and emotional resonance to your writing.
Here are five tips for using personification in your own writing:

1. Know Your Audience
Personification tends to work best when it is used sparingly. If you’re aiming for an emotional impact, make sure you choose your words wisely. If your audience isn’t familiar with personification, they may not appreciate it. Try to use it sparingly in early drafts, and then test it out with friends or readers who are more likely to appreciate its effect.

2. Use Personified Elements Wisely
Personification is a powerful tool, but you need to be careful not to overuse it. Too much personification can dilute the effect and make your writing feel wooden. Stick with specific instances that help drive home the character’s attributes. For example, a character might be described as being “fierce” rather than “angry,” because anger is a more common human emotion.

Examples of Personified Objects

The blog section for the article “definition personification” offers examples of personified objects. One example is a toy train that talks and moves on its own. Another is a fishing net that captures fish in its meshes.


In this concluding paragraph, we will discuss the definition of personification and how it is used in literature. Personification is a literary device that allows authors to ascribe human characteristics or qualities to non-human objects or phenomena. This technique can be seen in works such as The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, in which Holden Caulfield characterizes teachers and other adults he encounters as embodying all of the worst aspects of American society. By personifying these entities, Salinger allows readers to sympathize with them and understand their actions more fully.