39 Personification Examples: Great Tips You Should Know

Posted on Sep 21, 2023

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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Personification examples are an important tool for writers to add to their tool belt. If you are new to writing or even if you have several books published, refreshing yourself on the various personification examples out there can greatly enhance your writing. 

For example, while you may not realize it, some of your favorite books rely heavily on personification. From The Lord of the Rings to current bestsellers, writers use personification examples both overtly and subtly in their writing. 

Let’s jump into the definition of personification and then elaborate on its use.

Personification Examples: What’s Covered

Personification Examples Defined 

Personification examples add humanity to nonhuman characters, situations, and objects and are a subset of literary devices (here is a list of rhetorical devices, 44 examples, for your reference on various other literary devices). 

Writers use personification examples for a plethora of reasons. Some authors may want to draw the reader’s focus to an important detail or simply humanize a specific situation. For instance, authors often use personification to intensify storms. 

However, no matter your goal, you can write your own personification examples to help you reach it.

Once you read the 39 personification examples below, write your own to:

Before discussing how to use this writing tool, work through the list of various personification examples below to familiarize yourself with this beloved writing device. Ready to level-up your writing? 

List Of Examples

Below is an extended list of personification examples you can use as inspiration for your writing. 

Enjoy browsing through this list, and we’ll continue once you finish. 

1. The rain clouds sobbed over the field. 

2. The shadows winked. 

3. The leaves danced in the wind.

4. Snow skipped across the ground.

5. Trees bowed before the wind. 

6. Mountains loomed, asserting their dominance. 

7. The sun peeked through the clouds.

8. A rainbow shyly appeared in the sky.

9. The ocean roared.  

10. The clock ticked impatiently. 

11. The windows shook in fear.

12. The car shuddered as it rolled to a stop. 

13. The bike slipped on the pavement.

14. The fishing line shivered in the river.

15. The bow of the boat dove into the sea.

16. The chair groaned as he sat.  

17. The bench stood forlornly in the park. 

18. The house welcomed visitors with warm lights.

19. The curtains protected them from view.

20. The blanket offered comfort.

21. The knife winked evilly in the moonlight. 

22. The coat hugged her tightly. 

23. The cat tiptoed around the dog.

24. The fish snuck by the lure. 

25. The mouse teased the bug.

26. The sand whipped their legs.

27. The fog held them against their will. 

28. Thunder growled in the distance.  

29. Falling rock punched the ground. 

30. Warm light slowly walked into the room.  

31. Words stared up at the distracted reader.  

32. Ink bled through the page. 

33. The book binding gave up and cracked. 

34. The candle sighed and went out. 

35. The shrinking balloon sagged against the wall. 

36. The shoes bit her toes.

37. The flowers bent in a low curtsy. 

38. The desk stood resolutely under the weight of books.

39. The ax ate at the tree, bite by bite.

Which personification examples sounded familiar and which ones could inspire your own use of this literary tool? Speaking of, how do you actually use this device in writing? 

How To Use Personification: Examples For Writing

Authors use personification examples to communicate their messaging in a more effective way. 

Highlight The Importance Of An Object 

Consider the graphic designer who personifies a product. They want to draw your attention to the product in a way you can relate to, so they provide human qualities. The same is true for writers. 

Let’s say you are writing a mystery and roses will play an important role in finally unraveling the plot. Writers may repeatedly place roses throughout the story and personify them to highlight their importance. “The roses bent toward them, listening.” 

In this way, the writer is both highlighting the importance of this item by using it often, and also foreshadowing that it will play a role in the future by personifying it. 

Alleviate The Primary Tone Of The Plot

Personification examples provide necessary relief for readers. Just as plots use both rising and falling action, sometimes readers need a brief break in the overall emotion of the story.

You can use your own personification examples to add a hint of comedic relief to an otherwise serious storyline. In the same way, use personification examples to add a serious moment to a lighthearted plot. 

Something as simple as, “Embarrassed, the cat slipped from the room” can add a new layer to your storytelling.

Focus On Specific Characteristics Of Frequent Locations  

You can also use personification examples to showcase the prominent character qualities in various aspects of your story. For example, if you write crime and your plot involves a safe house, consider the following: “The tall fence stood, unyielding to the outside dangers.”  

Build this use of personification as you progress through the story. In this way, you can give important locations a type of character arc.

If you write romance, use various personification examples to reinforce your genre: “The autumn sun kissed the trees, turning them red and gold.”

Mistakes To Avoid

Now that you know how to use personification examples in your storytelling, here are a few mistakes to be aware of. 

Avoid Overuse 

Overusing personification examples will not only dim the creativity in your writing but bore the reader and pull attention from the story. Use personification when it adds to your story, and use it sparingly.   

Avoid Improper Use 

While personification is fun to use, there are some scenes where it doesn’t belong. If you want to draw attention to the humanity of your characters, maybe hold back on personification for a scene or two. 

Tip: When writing your own personification examples, make sure you understand why you’re using them and how they aid the scene.

Avoid Losing Your Unique Voice 

Readers associate a specific tone with each author’s work. When deciding when to use personification in your story, make sure it adds to your original writing voice. 

Imagine reading The Chronicles of Narnia with zero personification. In a similar way, imagine reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre with personification replacing her iconic line: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”

As a general rule of thumb, you may find the following helpful:

Use personification examples when they add to both your story and your unique writing voice. 

Your Next Step

Now it’s your turn to implement personification examples into your writing. Choose just one or two of the above examples and use them as inspiration to create your own.

If you’re not currently writing a book, consider writing a short story or blog to practice using this literary device. The more personification examples you write, the better they will become.

Don’t forget to reference the free resource below to aid you in your writing journey!

[PRINTABLE] Writer’s Guide Handbook

Be A Better Writer TODAY!

From Characters & Conflict, Voice & Style, to Grammar, Dialogue Tips, and More – this handbook has everything you need to finally feel confident in your writing.

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