How to Utilize Personification in your Writing
If you want to make your writing as multifaceted as possible, it is always a good idea to use as many writing devices as possible. The more tools you have in your belt, the more effectively you will be able to convey your feelings as a writer. Why not learn how to write personification?
What is personification?
It is a writing device that attributes human qualities to non-human things. This may seem easy to do, however, there are some tricks that you should know. Here are key tips on how to utilize personification in your writing.
1. Use personification to make the setting come to life
Personification can make the setting come to life for the reader. For example, instead of just describing the details of a location, you could utilize personification to give the setting more human qualities. Instead of just saying what the place is like, you could attribute more human qualities. Here is a great example on how to use personification for a setting.
The manor house creaked with joy to have someone inside it again. It let a floorboard give way just to feel him brush against its walls.
- T.R. Darling
2. Utilize personification to explain specific concepts to your audience
The writing device is also a great way to expound on specific concepts and ideas. Here is a wonderful excerpt from the works of the great Charles Dickens. In this piece, he personifies the concept of hunger, and how it seeps into every strata of society.
“Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.”
- Charles Dickens
3. Personification can form a deeper connection with readers
Personification is also a great way to make your work more relatable to readers. By giving thoughts, animals, and things more human-like qualities, your writing will have a more lasting effect on your readers.
“If dreams were a bird, it would fly high to watch the world from above, how big things look small when accomplished.”
- Arshia Mittal
4. Use personification to add perspective
By using personification in your writing, you could give your readers a unique perspective on a concept. This excerpt from E.M. Forster’s book Howard’s End uses personification to explore the concept of love from a whole new perspective.
It is a beautiful piece that personifies love as a being that cannot comprehend another’s infinity, yet will survive to the very end of things. The wordplay captures the mystery that is love, and its ever present allure to humanity as a whole.
“But Love cannot understand this. He cannot comprehend another’s infinity; he is conscious only of his own — flying sunbeam, falling rose, pebble that asks for one quiet plunge below the fretting interplay of space and time. He knows that he will survive at the end of things, and be gathered by Fate as a jewel from the slime, and be handed with admiration round the assembly of the gods.”
- E.M. Forster, Howards End
5. Read new content every day
If you want to further learn how to use personalization the right way you should read as much as possible. The more content you read, the more chances you will encounter wonderful examples of personification being used. It is also a good idea to list down these examples of personification and try to tweak them to fit your own writing. This does not mean that you should outright copy them. Instead, you should learn from them and continue to grow as a writer.
When it comes to writing effectively, it is a good idea to have as many tools in your belt as possible. By learning how to use personification in your writing, you will be able to improve your writing even further.