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Personification

Submitted by: Bob Leslie

  

(Taken from the book Write Now! - by Anne Wescott Dodd Ė book is out of print)

 

A writer must be sensitive.  He must feel with his characters.  He must write so that the reader can identify with the people and places he talks about.  If you can put yourself in someone elseís place, you become more aware of that personís feelings.  If you try to imagine what it would be like to be a particular object, such as a pencil, a coin, or a telephone, you can get new ideas on description and identification.

To give an animal or inanimate object human qualities such as thinking  or feeling is called personification.  Many writers use this device to make their work more exciting.

Write a paragraph or poem in which you are some object or animal.  What is life like for you?  What makes you happy?  Sad?  What do you hope for?

Here is an example of personification:

 

Mary was just about to slam the phone down on its cradle when the telephone talked back!

ďDonít do that,Ē it pleaded, ďNot again!  Donít you realize that Iím a sensitive instrument?  Do you think I like busy signals any more than you do?  Oh, that ugly buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, it gives me a frightful receiver-ache.  And instead of sympathy you crash me down on my cradle. You know, I bruise very easily.  Iím a Princess Phone, and you treat me like any common kitchen wall phone:  gossiping into my delicate speaker; letting my beautiful curly cord get all twisted and knotted up; dialing wrong numbers till my wires get crossed; ignoring my pretty ringing sounds.  You just donít deserve me.  Arenít you ashamed?Ē

 

Some suggestions follow below.

1.      a television

2.      a watch

3.      a coin

4.      a dog

5.      a shoe

6.      a tiger

7.      a door

8.      a tree

9.      a porpoise

10.     a garbage can

 

Do you think you have given a new picture of the animal or object you have chosen?

 

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