One of the most basic figures of speech, personification is really easy to understand. Personification examples will help you understand and use this figure of speech easily.
When we associate a human quality or trait with a non-living object, it is called personification.
Sometimes, we apply a human trait, quality or emotion to an inanimate object to add character to that object. For example, when we say, “The rain fell with fearsome anger”, we give the rain the human trait of being angry. This is when we use personification to imply the way in which rain fell and in some way help the reader to imagine the exact situation. Similarly, when we say, “The donuts on the table were calling out to me”, we give donuts the human ability to call out to someone. Literally, this isn’t possible; with the help of personification, we imply that the donuts were irresistibly tasty. Here are some more personification examples (used in prose and poetry) that you can go through. The figure of speech is either highlighted or explained below the examples.
Examples of Personification in Simple Sentences
Here, the rain is given the human trait of being angry.
My stomach was punishing me for not eating on time.
Here, the stomach is given the human ability to punish.
His shoes told a different story. They had certainly traveled more than he said they had.
Here, the shoes are given the human ability to speak and to travel.
It’s the cigarette’s job to tempt and lure.
Here, the cigarette is given the human ability to tempt and lure.
His paintings, each of them, spoke to anyone who happened to look at them.
Here, painting are given the human ability to speak.
Every single day in office, boredom continuously stares at me.
Here, boredom is given the human trait of staring.
For days on end, her thoughts about him entertained her.
Here, thoughts are given the human ability to entertain.
The watch kept warning them about the time left for the race to end.
Here, the watch is given a human trait of warning.
The blanket had stretched itself to the ends of the huge bed.
Here, the blanket is given the human ability to stretch.
It’s like the clothes were speaking to me, all of them, all at once.
Here, clothes are given the human ability to speak.
The waves ran towards the shore with furious pace.
Every morning, the Sun glanced at them with love.
A gentle wind caressed her cheeks as she lay on the soft grass.
Several dew drops decorated the otherwise plain window.
Poverty stared at him from every corner of the shattered town.
The wires entangled themselves every day and then I spent the night disentangling them.
Her jewelry clearly spoke about her wealth.
The road twisted and turned continuously for 100 miles.
Anyone who has seen my photographs will know that the camera loves me.
Examples of Personification in Literature
“Ten thousand (daffodils) saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced…”
– William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
In this poem, William Wordsworth has given daffodils the ability to toss their heads and waves the ability to dance.
The earth hath swallowed all my hopes.
– Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Here, Shakespeare has given Earth the human ability to swallow.
“Opportunity may knock, but it seldom nags.”
– David Mamet
Here, opportunity is given the human ability to knock and nag.
With the help of these personification examples, you can understand how to use this figure of speech perfectly. With a little active imagination, you can use personification to add superb character and meaning to an otherwise boring text.