Personification does not give direct comparisons, but gives objects, ideas or animals human characteristics. Here are some more examples: ‘The clock chimed merrily.’ / ‘Jealousy shows its ugly face.’ / ‘The owl looked at us wisely.’ In each of these, the writer uses words that usually describe humans, such as ‘merrily’, ‘ugly face’, ‘wisely’ to describe things that are not human (a clock, a feeling, a bird).

Personification helps the reader to see something from a different angle or in a new way. Personification helps to create a mood – for example, the sun ‘smiled’ on the new day makes us feel that this day is going to be a good one.

Personification can also connect the reader emotionally with the object that is being described. Advertisers sometimes use personification to persuade people to buy a product, for example: Nothing hugs like Huggies (Huggies nappies for babies). This makes us feel that Huggies nappies are loving and gentle – like hugs. (Whereas all they are are bits of plastic, paper and packaging!)