Anthropomorphism can be understood to be the act of lending a human quality, emotion or ambition to a non-human object or being. This act of lending a human element to a non-human subject is often employed in order to endear the latter to the readers or audience and increase the level of relativity between the two while also lending character to the subject.

The raging storm brought with it howling winds and fierce lightning as the residents of the village looked up at the angry skies in alarm.

28 thoughts on “Anthropomorphism”

      1. *anthropomorphisms* are literal ‘human-making’ of inhuman subjects. Like talking animals in Disney movies, or giving the moon and sun a human face. Mostly this applies to physical attributes of humanness being applied to not-human things.
        *personifications* are figurative ‘human-making’ as you probably know from school. Like saying your computer hates you, or that the wind is howling. This mainly applies to sentiments concerning the human nature and cognition being applied to not-human things.

        1. personifications contain sentiments, right? anthropomorphism is more objective but personification is more subjective?

  1. Wealth is a sexy seductress of elegance & mystery. She runs from children who scorn her yet LAVISHES her glory upon those who embrace her firmly.

    As soon as the scales fell off my eyes to see her attractiveness, we grabbed one another and ran off into the sunset, laughing, living, & loving.

    There’s a pot-luck of literary devices right there, but as I only ever taught English as a SECOND language (in Asia,…), well I wouldn’t be surprised if some1 even geekier than I could probably dissect that into phrases & clauses that exemplify it clearly. 🙂

  2. Would “you look like a fish out of water” be one?

    Ps ( I haven’t said this before to anyone but I’ve heard it before.)

  3. Anthropomorphic, the forest returned with a match
    Made from itself and said, “Burn us with that”
    Then left again and came back with an axe
    We can serve you as furniture or furnace

    1. Oooh… 😉

      Poetic…though fairly sardonic in nature as the object being anthropomorphized seeks it’s own destruction. Are you a fan of David Fincher, per chance? For some reason I feel like you wrote that after watching “Fight Club” for the 12th time… 🙂

  4. The character of Aslan in C.S Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia is a lion, but is addressed and behaves as a human. ( anthropomorphism).

    All the characters of George Orwell’s anti-Communist novel Animal Farm are anthropomophoric.

    The Greek God Zeus is supposed to be superhuman but is often given human emotions and behaviors.

  5. Would “I let my guard down and then you pulled the rug.” Be this or a different literary device?

  6. Personification is the ascribing of LIVING characteristics to non-living objects (i.e. The stapler jumped out of my hand)
    Anthropomorphism is the ascribing of HUMAN characteristics to non-human objects or beings (includes animals).
    Pathetic Fallacy is the ascribing of the MAIN CHARACTER’S emotions to the surroundings. (Usually the weather and nature)

    [My English teacher got a little too enthusiastic while describing this and almost hit a student. Her colleagues gave her a “Personification-safe stapler” for her birthday]

    1. What would it be if emotions were described to have a physical impact. Like fear stabbing at someone’s chest. I keep looking it up but anthropomorphism is all i can find and it doesn’t see right.

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