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Personification

artistic or literary device in which an abstract concept is represented by a person with appropriate attributes
In this illustration by Milo Winter of Aesop's fable, The North Wind and the Sun, a personified North Wind tries to strip the cloak off of a traveler.
Personification of arithmetic

Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities are given to non-living objects.

In the arts, personification means representing a non-human thing as if it were human. Personification gives human traits and qualities, such as emotions, desires, sensations, gestures and speech, often by way of a metaphor.

Personification is much used in visual arts. Examples in writing are "the leaves waved in the wind", "the ocean heaved a sigh" or "the Sun smiled at us". In easy language personification is just giving an example of a living being for a non-living thing. "The wind shouted". Obviously the wind cannot shout. This is what is called personification.

A few more examples of personification in sentences:

  1. The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.
  2. At 6:30 my alarm clock sprang to life.
  3. The tornado ran through town without a care.
  4. The tsunami raced towards the coastline.
  5. The sun smiled and chased away the angry clouds.
  6. The pencil danced across the paper.
  7. The moon smiled upon the river.
  8. The sun was getting ready to take its nightly nest.

Another commonly used personification is found in stories where animals are attributed labels for recognition. This is called anthropomorphism.

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