Nocreative writing, you have a lot of freedom that you don't have in other types of writing, such as academic and business writing. You don't have to be factual or literal in your creative writing; If the most accurate way to describe your furniture is to give each piece its own personality, then you can do that. And when you do that, you're using a form offigurative languagecalled personification.
Personifying an object means figuratively depicting it with human characteristics to create a vivid image of that object in your reader's mind. While describing your sofa as brown or corduroy shows the reader what the sofa literally looks like, describing it as indulgent gives the reader a strong idea of what it's like to sit on that sofa.
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What is personification?
Personification is one of manyliterary resourceswriters use to make their writing more engaging. Other common literary devices include synecdoches,metaphor, youonomatopoeia. With personification, you emphasize the characteristics of a nonhuman by describing them with human attributes. This non-human can be an object, an animal, or even an idea or concept. Here are some examples of personification:
- He sat at the table tired and overworked.
- Coming home from the lake empty-handed, I assumed the fish was conspiring to avoid me.
- The boy's gaze implored me to take him out for ice cream, even though I'd already said no.
Personification is not limited to one part of speech or type of sentence. You might find a personification expressed as a verb, an adjective, or even an entire sentence. Take a look at some of the different ways to include personification in your writing:
- The image of a comfortable hammock on a tropical beach spoke seductively to her.
- Perfectly tanned strawberries were calling my name, so I got them to go with dessert.
- More birds joined the chorus, turning the sparrow's solo into an ensemble performance.
Writers often use personification in conjunction with other literary devices. Here are a few pairs, with the personification in bold and the other literary device in italics:
- "Maullar"the catexplained, discussing why I should give him another present. ("Meow" is an onomatopoeia.)
- They arethe brush was your teachersim,like a teacher,guided themthrough the challenges they faced on screen. (“Like a teacher” is an analogy.)
- The courtrose, hovering over themas they waited outside for the trial to begin. (In this example, "he stood upright, hovering over them" is both personification and symbolism, with the court's imposing appearance symbolizing the power of government.)
Why is impersonation used?
When you personify an object, animal, or anything else that isn't human in your writing, you make that "thing" seem more human. By humanizing a non-human through representation, you can do several things:
- Make it easy for readers to empathize with it.
- Make the relationship of a human to a non-human character clearer for readers.
- Make it easy for the reader to empathize with the human characters in the story.
- Demonstrate more clearly the role of the non-human in the story.
And acting is fun! He dramatically animates andnarrative writingthrough attractive figurative language.
While writers use personification in all types of creative writing, you're most likely to find it in children's stories. A big part of this is that children's stories tend to feature animals and objects, rather than people, as characters.
history of personification
Personification has been around for millennia. Almost since people started telling stories, we've used personification to make those story concepts more relatable.
One of the first writers to discuss personification, later known asprosopopeia, was an ancient Athenian orator named Demetrius of Phalerum. At the time of his writing,prosopopoeia was a well-established literary device and could be found in a variety of works.
Early examples of personification include images of Victoria, the personified Roman goddess of victory, on Roman coins and architecture. Personification was used extensively in ancient Rome, with specific Roman virtues and cities personified on coins and in art.
Other early examples of personification, specifically in a literary context, include the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appearing in the Bible. In Apocalypse, the book that describes the events of the Apocalypse, the divine punishments for the people of the Earth are personified as four men on horseback, bringing various tragedies to the world.
Over the centuries that followed, cultures around the world continued to use personification and allegory to communicate important ideas through stories and symbolism. A relatively recent historical example is Bharat Mata, the personification of India as a goddess. This personified figure has its roots in the 19th century and gained popularity through India's independence movement. Bharat Mata is just one of the personified national figures depicted in art and used to symbolize cultural movements. others includeThat's Sam, aMerlion, youGreat Britain.
examples of personification
You've found embodiment in a variety of settings. You've probably used it before in your speaking and writing, even if you weren't familiar with the term "representation". If you've ever said something like "the computer won't cooperate", you've used impersonation.
We also use a lot of imitations on the blog. Here are some examples we've used in the past:
- “The heart wants what it wants, or it doesn't care. . .”—Emily Dickinson. (verLiterary Devices: The Definitive Guide..)
- The clock glared at me. (To watchThe ultimate guide to phrases.)
- It was a cheerful bouquet. Each flower had a distinct, vibrant face, and together they formed a happy chorus of excited friends, ready to break into song at any moment. (To watchHow to take descriptive writing to the next level.)
You have also found personification in literature and poetry. Here are some famous examples:
- “BlackBerry . . . I had not asked for such blood brotherhood; they must love me
They accommodate my bottle, flattening its sides.” — “Blackberrying” de Sylvia Plath
- “There is something subversive about Serena's garden. . . . . Breathe, in the heat, breathing yourself.” —The Servant's Talepor Margaret Atwood
There are also many examples in popular music:
- “Do you remember what was revealed the day the music died?”—american piepor Don McLean
- “You start to freeze when the horror looks you right between the eyes.”—Suspendedby michael jackson
And it appears a lot in everyday phrases and expressions:
- The city that never sleeps.
- wind howl
- Actions speak louder than words.
If you've ever watched a cartoon and seen an object briefly "come to life" to illustrate its characteristics or relationship to a character, you've seen an animated personification.Take a look at this example ofThe Simpsons.
What is the difference between personification and anthropomorphism?
When you watch an animated movie starring talking animals, you're seeing a representation in action, right?
In truth no. What you are seeing is an example ofanthropomorphism.
Anthropomorphism is a non-human character that behaves in a human manner. For example, Mickey Mouse is an anthropomorphic mouse. SpongeBob SquarePants is an anthropomorphic sponge.
In contrast, the enactment is brief, usually an isolated action or description, and serves to provide description or add dramatic or poetic effect. The titular raven in Poe's poemThe crowhe is personified, not anthropomorphized, because the poem's narrator ascribes human traits to him by "hearing" his speech, rather than the crow being a talking bird.
Basically, if human traits are figurative, it's personification. If they're literal, like Tony the Tiger saying "They're great!", it's anthropomorphism.
Frequently asked questions about representation
What is personification?
Personification is a type of metaphor that describes the appearance, actions, and purposes of non-humans in language typically reserved for human characters.
What is an example of personification?
- This bike just wouldn't let up.
- I could feel the crows laughing, mocking me for bringing such a disappointing gift.
- We loved our home, but our home didn't love us.
Is personification figurative language?
Are personification and anthropomorphism the same thing?
Do not. Personification uses figurative language to illustrate a scene or show us a character's perspective:
- The church bell sang loud and clear in the sky.
- My pen struggled, determined not to leave any of its ink behind when I needed it most.
- All the plants in the garden were still, waiting for the sun's next command.
Anthropomorphism is a non-human character that behaves in a human manner. This could mean wearing clothes, talking or performing actions typically associated with humans. For example, the talking (and sometimes singing and dancing) clock, the candlestick, the teapot and the like in Disney cartoons.Beauty and the BeastThey are a cast of anthropomorphic objects.
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If you pretend to be your twin brother all day at school, that's impersonation. There are a few different forms of impersonation — some of them are harmless, like comedians who use impersonation to mimic the voices and mannerisms of famous people, or actors who play historical figures in movies.What is an act of pretending to be another person in order to defraud? ›
Personation (rather than impersonation) is a primarily-legal term, meaning 'to assume the identity of another person with intent to deceive'. It is often used for the kind of voter fraud where an individual votes in an election, whilst pretending to be a different elector.What is your idea of impersonation? ›
the act of attempting to deceive someone by pretending that you are another person: He was charged with impersonation of a police officer.How does impersonation work? ›
Impersonation enables a caller to impersonate a given user account. This enables the caller to perform operations by using the permissions that are associated with the impersonated account, instead of the permissions that are associated with the caller's account.What are the three types of impersonation? ›
Now that we've discussed the basic process, let's take a look at three kinds of impersonation attacks you should know: spoofed domain attacks, fake social media accounts, and fraudulent mobile apps.What are three types of impersonation attacks? ›
CEO fraud, business email compromise and whaling are specific forms of impersonation attacks where malicious individuals pose as high-level executives within a company.How do you prove impersonation? ›
Sharing names, posting similar photos, or having a parody account does not automatically qualify as impersonation, unless harm caused can be proved. You need to submit a government-issued photo identity proof in order to prove that the account is an impersonation.What is unlawful impersonation? ›
Whoever impersonates or attempts to impersonate another person, whether dead or alive, real or imaginary, by providing any false demographic information or biometric information, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or ...Can you go to jail for acting like someone else? ›
If charged as a misdemeanor, impersonating is punishable by: misdemeanor (or summary) probation, custody in county jail for up to one year, and/or. a maximum fine of $10,000.Why do people impersonate others? ›
An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone: Entertainment: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their personal lives, recent scandals and known behavior patterns.
“Impersonator.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/impersonator.Why is impersonation a crime? ›
Impersonation refers to the 'an act of pretending to be another person for the purpose of entertainment or fraud'. It constitutes a criminal offence under UAE laws.Is impersonation a crime Us? ›
(a) A person is guilty of criminal impersonation when such person: (1) Impersonates another and does an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another; or (2) pretends to be a state marshal with intent to obtain a benefit or induce another to submit to such pretended ...What are the consequences of impersonation? ›
If convicted of false impersonation as a misdemeanor, a defendant can be sentenced to up to a year in jail and substantial court fines. If convicted of felony charges, the maximum sentence is three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.What can stop from impersonation? ›
Be educated about phishing scams that help fraudsters acquire the information and documentation needed for impersonation fraud. Verify the identity of any individual or entity making an electronic payment request by using contact information not provided in the request or by setting up an in-person meeting.Is Identity Theft same as impersonation? ›
Identity theft involves the theft of your personal information or your business's private data in order to gain access to your financial details. Impersonation is more simply the act of someone pretending to be an individual or a business.What is identity impersonate? ›
Impersonation is the process of executing code in the context of another user identity. By default, all ASP.NET code is executed using a fixed machine-specific account. To execute code using another identity we can use the built-in impersonation capabilities of ASP.NET.What is a victim of impersonation? ›
If you've been a victim of fraud, you will find the marker on your credit report. This is known as a Victim of Impersonation entry. This is filed by a lender for your own protection.Is impersonation a cyber crime? ›
An impersonation attack takes place when a digital adversary fraudulently poses as a trusted associate of the target, often as a friend, work colleague or executive leader at the target's company. Impersonation is where users create social media accounts mimicking legitimate accounts.What is the most common type of spoofing? ›
One of the most common types of spoofing attacks is email spoofing. This occurs when an attacker purports to be a known, familiar or plausible contact by either altering the “From” field to match a trusted contact or mimicking the name and email address of a known contact.
Impersonation and spoofing are the two main forms of phishing attacks aimed at employees. While the two terms seem interchangeable, they refer to very similar but fundamentally different methods of attack. If it tricks a computer, it's a spoofing attack. If it tricks a human, it's an impersonation attack.Can you sue someone for pretending to be you on social media? ›
The law made it a crime to steal someone's name, voice, photo or other information to create a false identity on social media. Victims can request an injunction and seek monetary damages. Impersonation crimes are not always financial, but they are usually considered immoral and therefore illegal.Is it a crime to impersonate someone on social media? ›
Impersonating someone online can be a crime in California. Penal Code 529 PC is the California statute that defines the crime of false impersonation (also known as false personation).What is the punishment for pretending to be someone else? ›
As a misdemeanor offense, a conviction brings the potential for summary probation, one year in county jail and $10,000 in fines, while a felony conviction brings up to three years in jail, $10,000 in fines and/or formal probation.What are charges of impersonation? ›
The offence of impersonation carries a maximum Sentence of three (3) years. The applicant was Sentenced to one (1)month imprisonment from 13th March, 2014.How many years do you get for impersonation? ›
Impersonation in general. Any person who, with intent to defraud any person, falsely represents himself to be some other person, living or dead, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.Why do people impersonate you? ›
If someone impersonates you on the internet, it is usually with the view to scam you or others, or they just want to ruin your reputation. If you have found yourself in the midst of online impersonation, you are in no doubt feeling a heightened anxiety and are not sure about what to do if someone impersonates you.What is it called when someone is pretending to be someone else on social media? ›
Social media impersonation is a form of digital identity theft. Using this tactic, a cyber-criminal or scammer creates a profile on a social platform using personally identifiable information (name, picture, location, background details) stolen from a certain individual.What information is most commonly stolen from social media? ›
- Full name (particularly your middle name)
- Date of birth (often required)
- Home town.
- Relationship status.
- School locations and graduation dates.
- Pet names.
- Other affiliations, interests and hobbies.
An imposter is a person who pretends to be someone else. Someone who tries to convince you that he's your long lost cousin in order to get an invitation to stay in your awesome apartment is an imposter.
Impostor. Definition - one that assumes false identity or title for the purpose of deception. This word has been spelled in a wide variety of ways over the centuries, although the two most common forms today are impostor and imposter.What is it called when someone is pretending to be someone? ›
impersonation. noun. the act of pretending to be someone else in order to trick people.Which states have online impersonation laws? ›
Only Texas, Mississippi, Hawaii, New York and California have enacted statutes containing language explicitly referring to Internet impersonation. However, most states, including New Jersey, have statutes that would cover Internet impersonation transactions.What is an example of impersonation attacks? ›
An example of a successful impersonation attack is when criminals use a fake email (through spoofing or hacking) of a high-level executive or important business entity.What are examples of impersonation attacks? ›
An example of a successful impersonation attack is when criminals use a fake email (through spoofing or hacking) of a high-level executive or important business entity.What is an example of impersonation on social media? ›
One such example would be giveaways and other raffles that use the names of supermarkets to lure customers into clicking on malicious links which leads to having their information or their online banking credentials stolen. Other types of brand impersonation can actually happen in what we call 'competing wars'.What is an example of online impersonation? ›
Online impersonation cases refer to those situations in which someone is maliciously using another person's online identity to gain financial benefits. This could include asking family members and friends for money, opening a crowdfunding account, or getting a loan in their name.Is impersonation considered identity theft? ›
Identity theft involves the theft of your personal information or your business's private data in order to gain access to your financial details. Impersonation is more simply the act of someone pretending to be an individual or a business.What causes impersonation? ›
An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone: Entertainment: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their personal lives, recent scandals and known behavior patterns.Is it a crime to pretend to be someone else on social media? ›
Impersonating someone online can be a crime in California. Penal Code 529 PC is the California statute that defines the crime of false impersonation (also known as false personation).
Impersonating Someone Online To Harm Or Defraud – California Penal Code § 528.5. It is illegal to impersonate another person online either to buy some sort of a social media posting account like a Facebook account or some email with the intent to do some sort of harm to that person or defraud another person.What is pretending to be someone else online? ›
What is Catfishing? A catfish isn't just a fish with whiskers. It's a term for a person who pretends to be someone else online. A catfish uses fake photos, and sometimes a false persona, to find friends or romantic partners on the internet.How do you impersonate a user? ›
Impersonate a user
Click the name of an individual user to view the detail page. Click the Impersonate link next to the user's name. You'll now be able to view the UI and make whatever changes you need as if you are the user you're impersonating.
Impersonation in general. Any person who, with intent to defraud any person, falsely represents himself to be some other person, living or dead, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.