What Is Anthropomorphism?


Quick Answer

Anthropomorphism is a literary device that writers use when they give human features, personalities or actions to animals, non-human beings or even abstract ideas. For example, instead of behaving like a normal bear, an anthropomorphised bear like Winnie the Pooh walks, talks and expresses emotions like a human being.

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Anthropomorphism is particularly common in children's stories and movies. For example, many Dr. Seuss characters such as "The Cat in the Hat" behave like human beings. Popular children's movies such as "Finding Nemo" and "Toy Story" have anthropomorphised characters. However, anthropomorphism also occurs in books and movies for adults. George Orwell's "Animal Farm" is a well-known novel in which animals behave like humans. In the book and movie "The Book Thief," death itself is personified as the narrator of the story.

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