Anthropomorphism-when animals or non-human characters are given human characteristics. Anthropomorphism is slightly different from personification, which is describing an object using human characteristics. Anthropomorphism is actually having the animal or object behave as if it is human.
In the Disney film, Beauty and the Beast, the clock (Cogsworth), candlestick (Lumier), and the teapot (Mrs. Pots) all act and behave as if they are human beings.
In the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell, the characters are all animals. For example, old Major, a pig, has a dream where all animals are free from the tyranny of the farmer.
Many classic Disney characters are anthropomorphized:
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse
- Donald and Daisy Duck
- Goofy and Pluto
In the Beatrix Potter tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter lives with his mother and sisters in a "home," he wears clothing, he cries when he is trapped in Mr. McGregor's garden, and his mother punishes him by not giving him good things to eat for dinner.
Many fables and fairy tales feature anthropomorphism. For example, think of Aesop's fable about the Tortoise and the Hare.
Literary Terms Examples