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  • Writer's pictureBeate Gillson


I have to explain this term, as I make use of it in a couple of my films : Anthropomorphism Is a literary device that can define as a technique in which the writer ascribes human traits, ambitions, emotions, or entire behaviors to animals, non human beings, natural phenomena, or objects. e.g. if you talk to your computer- you are anthropomorphizing. Anthropomorphism, as it relates to Nature, can lead to better environmental conservation. Pinocchio, the famous wooden doll, was anthropomorphized when he was given the ability to walk, talk, think, and feel like a boy. Fables (Aesop's e.g.) and fairy tales usually have characters that can serve as anthropomorphism examples.

A dog's tale ( by Mark Twain) "My father was St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian. This is what my mother told me, I do not know these nice distinctions myself. To me they are only fine large words meaning nothing. My mother had a fondness for such; she liked to say them, and see other dogs look surprised and envious, as wondering how she got so much education...When I was well grown, at last. I was sold and taken away, and I never saw her again. She was broken hearted, and so was I, and we cried; but she comforted me as well as she could..." The protagonist of this beautiful story is a dog-a puppy. It is told from a loyal pet's perspective. The dog has human traits like emotions, shame, fear, anguish, happiness, and hopelessness.

Function: There are various reasons for using anthropomorphism. The primary one is to make a wider appeal to the reader. In my case a more visual appeal, non threatening to the reader, even if the message is political charged and / or a social satire. It reflects in poetry on personalities and quirks, e.g. the otherness, the sameness of people and animals, how we love and be empathetic, passionate, how we create family and home , how we deal with loss and despair, gratitude, forgiveness, and mostly: how to be good. ---Not just as entertainment for children. But hey, aren't we all still children?

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