Adding Life to Your Writing: Anthropomorphism Examples and Techniques [In 2024]​

Anthropomorphism is a literary technique that involves giving human characteristics or traits to non-human entities, such as animals or inanimate objects. It is a powerful tool used by writers to bring life and relatability to their writing. By personifying non-human things, writers are able to create deeper connections with their readers and evoke emotions that might not be possible with purely factual or objective writing.

Anthropomorphism is a powerful literary technique that brings non-human entities to life by giving them human characteristics. It helps create emotional connections, enhances storytelling, expands perspectives, and allows for creative expression. Examples in literature include “Charlotte’s Web,” “Animal Farm,” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” In film and animation, anthropomorphism is seen in works like “Frozen,” “The Lion King,” and “Finding Nemo.” Advertising also utilizes anthropomorphism to make brands relatable, such as the Geico Gecko, Tony the Tiger, and the Snuggle Bear. Techniques for using anthropomorphism include symbolism, emotional connection, and creating unique characters. To incorporate anthropomorphism effectively, choose the right subjects, develop human-like traits, balance realism and fantasy, and appeal to emotions.

Key takeaways:

  • Anthropomorphism adds depth and relatability to writing.

  • It can be used in literature, film/animation, and advertising.

  • Techniques include symbolism, emotional connection, and unique character creation.

  • Choose appropriate non-human subjects and develop relatable traits.

  • Balance realism and fantasy to create believable characters.

  • Avoid overdoing it and failing to develop beyond human-like traits.

Purpose and benefits of using anthropomorphism in writing

There are several reasons why writers use anthropomorphism in their work:

  1. Emotional connection: Anthropomorphism allows readers to connect on an emotional level with characters or objects that they might otherwise not relate to. By attributing human qualities such as love, fear, and intelligence to non-human entities, writers can make their stories more engaging and relatable.
  2. Enhanced storytelling: Anthropomorphism can transform ordinary stories into captivating adventures. By giving personalities and motivations to animals or objects, writers can create intriguing narratives that keep readers hooked from beginning to end.
  3. Expanded perspectives: Anthropomorphism can help readers see the world from a different perspective. By exploring the thoughts and experiences of non-human characters, writers can challenge societal norms, expand readers’ understanding of different perspectives, and encourage empathy.
  4. Creative expression: Using anthropomorphism allows writers to tap into their creativity and imagination. It provides them with a unique way to explore complex ideas or concepts and present them in a refreshing and entertaining way.

Anthropomorphism Examples in Literature

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

One of the classic examples of anthropomorphism in literature is found in “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. The story follows the friendship between a spider named Charlotte and a pig named Wilbur. Charlotte exhibits human-like intellect and emotion, using her webs to weave messages to save Wilbur from slaughter. This anthropomorphic representation of the animals allows readers to connect with them on a deeper level and understand their thoughts and feelings.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is another notable example of anthropomorphism in literature. In this allegorical novel, farm animals are personified and given human-like qualities as they revolt against their human owner and establish their own society. Through anthropomorphism, Orwell is able to explore complex political themes and satirically comment on human nature.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

In C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” anthropomorphism is used to bring the character of Aslan, a lion, to life. Aslan is depicted as a wise and noble king, symbolizing strength and bravery. By anthropomorphizing Aslan, Lewis creates a character that readers can relate to and admire.

These examples demonstrate how anthropomorphism can be used in literature to add depth and relatability to non-human characters. By giving them human traits and emotions, authors are able to create engaging stories that resonate with readers.

Anthropomorphism Examples in Film and Animation

Anthropomorphism is a powerful tool used in storytelling to bring non-human characters to life by giving them human characteristics. This technique has been widely used in film and animation to create memorable and relatable characters. Here are three notable examples:

Frozen (anthropomorphizing Olaf the snowman)

In the animated film Frozen, anthropomorphism is used to bring a lovable snowman named Olaf to life. Olaf can talk, sing, and feel human emotions, making him a relatable character for the audience. Without anthropomorphism, Olaf would simply be an inanimate object, but by giving him human-like traits, he becomes a source of humor and emotional connection for viewers.

The Lion King (anthropomorphizing Simba and other animal characters)

Another example of anthropomorphism is found in the classic Disney film, The Lion King. The main character, Simba, along with other animal characters in the movie, are anthropomorphized to have human qualities such as speaking, singing, and experiencing emotions. This technique allows the audience to form a strong bond with these characters and become emotionally invested in their journey.

Finding Nemo (anthropomorphizing fish and other sea creatures)

The Pixar film Finding Nemo also utilizes anthropomorphism to bring its underwater world to life. Characters like Nemo, Dory, and Marlin are given human-like traits, allowing them to communicate, form relationships, and experience emotions just like humans. This helps the audience connect with these fish characters on a deeper level and become immersed in their story.

By using anthropomorphism, filmmakers and animators are able to create engaging and relatable characters that resonate with audiences of all ages. Whether it’s a singing snowman or talking animals, anthropomorphism adds depth and life to the storytelling experience.

Anthropomorphism Examples in Advertising and Marketing

Anthropomorphism is a powerful technique used in advertising and marketing to bring non-human entities to life by giving them human characteristics. This creates a connection with the audience and makes the brand more relatable. Here are a few examples of successful anthropomorphic characters used in advertising:

Geico Gecko

The Geico Gecko is a prime example of anthropomorphism in advertising. This talking gecko has become the face of Geico Insurance and is loved by audiences for his witty and charming personality. The character not only helps to promote the brand but also makes insurance seem more approachable and relatable.

Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal, is another iconic anthropomorphic character. He is a friendly and energetic tiger who encourages kids to start their day with a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Tony adds a playful and fun element to the brand, making it memorable and appealing to children.

Snuggle Bear

The Snuggle Bear is the cuddly mascot for Snuggle fabric softener. This anthropomorphic bear brings a sense of comfort and warmth to the brand, emphasizing its ability to make clothes soft and snuggly. The Snuggle Bear appeals to consumers on an emotional level, making them associate the product with feelings of coziness and comfort.

These examples show how anthropomorphism can humanize brands and make them more engaging for consumers. By giving non-human entities relatable personalities, advertisers create memorable characters that resonate with their target audience.

Techniques for Using Anthropomorphism in Writing

Anthropomorphism is a powerful tool that writers can use to add depth, emotion, and relatability to their writing. Here are three techniques for effectively using anthropomorphism:

1. Symbolism and metaphor

By assigning human characteristics to non-human objects or animals, writers can create powerful symbolism and metaphor in their work. For example, a writer might anthropomorphize a tree to represent wisdom or strength in a story. This technique allows readers to connect on a deeper level and adds layers of meaning to the narrative.

2. Emotional connection and relatability

Anthropomorphism allows readers to form emotional connections with characters or objects that they might not otherwise be able to relate to. By giving non-human entities human qualities, writers can evoke empathy and understanding from their audience. This can be especially useful when writing for children, as it helps them connect with the story and characters on a personal level.

3. Creating unique and engaging characters

Anthropomorphism provides writers with the freedom to create unique and memorable characters that break away from traditional human conventions. By anthropomorphizing animals or objects, writers can give them distinct personalities, motivations, and conflicts that make them relatable and captivating. This technique allows for more creative storytelling possibilities and can bring a sense of wonder and intrigue to the reader.

Using anthropomorphism in writing opens up a world of creative possibilities. By employing these techniques, writers can add depth, emotion, and uniqueness to their work, creating a more engaging and memorable reading experience for their audience.

How to Incorporate Anthropomorphism in Your Writing

Anthropomorphism is a powerful technique that can bring life and depth to your writing. Here are some tips on how to effectively incorporate anthropomorphism in your writing:

1. Choosing the right non-human subjects

Selecting the appropriate non-human subjects is crucial in creating engaging and relatable characters. Animals are often the most common choice, but you can also anthropomorphize objects, natural phenomena, or even abstract concepts. Consider how the characteristics of the chosen subject align with the themes and messages you want to convey.

2. Developing human-like traits and characteristics

To make your anthropomorphized characters compelling, give them human-like traits and characteristics. This could include emotions, thoughts, desires, and behaviors that readers can easily relate to. By blending human and non-human attributes, you create characters that are both familiar and unique.

3. Balancing realism and fantasy in anthropomorphized characters

Finding the right balance between realism and fantasy is essential in crafting believable anthropomorphized characters. While it’s important to maintain some level of realism, don’t be afraid to embrace imagination and creativity. Experiment with different combinations of human and non-human qualities to create intriguing and memorable characters.

Incorporating anthropomorphism in your writing opens up endless possibilities for storytelling. It allows you to tap into readers’ innate ability to connect with and understand human behaviors. Remember to use this technique thoughtfully and purposefully to enhance your narrative and engage your audience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Anthropomorphism

When it comes to using anthropomorphism in your writing, there are a few common mistakes that you should avoid. These mistakes can compromise the authenticity and impact of your work. Here are two key points to keep in mind:

Overdoing anthropomorphism and losing authenticity

While anthropomorphism can add interest and relatability to your writing, it’s important not to overdo it. If you assign too many human characteristics to non-human entities, it can make your story or message seem contrived or unrealistic. It’s important to strike the right balance and ensure that the human-like traits you assign are believable and enhance the overall narrative.

Failing to develop non-human characters beyond human-like traits

Another mistake to avoid is solely relying on human-like traits for your non-human characters. While it may be tempting to focus solely on their relatability, it’s important to remember that these characters are not human. They have their own unique qualities, behaviors, and motivations that should be developed in a way that goes beyond simply making them resemble humans. By doing so, you can create more depth and authenticity in your storytelling.

By being aware of these common pitfalls and using anthropomorphism judiciously, you can bring your writing to life and engage your readers on a deeper level. So go ahead, embrace the power of anthropomorphism, but do so with care and consideration for the authenticity of your work.


Anthropomorphism can add a touch of magic and creativity to your writing. By giving non-human entities human-like characteristics, you can engage your readers and bring your stories to life.

Whether you’re writing a children’s book, a blog post, or a marketing campaign, anthropomorphism can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Tips for incorporating anthropomorphism effectively in your own work

  1. Choose the right characters: Think about which non-human entities would be most interesting and relatable to your readers. Animals, objects, and even abstract concepts can all be transformed into anthropomorphic characters.
  2. Develop unique personalities: Give your anthropomorphic characters distinct personalities and traits that align with their human-like characteristics. This will help them feel more relatable and memorable to your readers.
  3. Use descriptive language: Use vivid descriptions and sensory details to bring your anthropomorphic characters to life. Show their emotions, actions, and thought processes through rich imagery.
  4. Be consistent: Once you establish the anthropomorphic qualities of your characters, make sure to maintain consistency throughout your writing. This will create a sense of continuity and allow readers to become fully immersed in your story.
  5. Appeal to emotions: Anthropomorphism can evoke strong emotional responses from readers. Use this to your advantage by creating characters that readers can empathize with and root for.

By incorporating anthropomorphism effectively in your writing, you can take your readers on imaginative journeys and leave a lasting impression. Experiment with this literary device and unleash your creativity in new and exciting ways!

Andrew Lim
Andrew Lim

Javier is a graduate of the University of Dublin. He has been in the digital marketing space for over decade and has worked with E-commerce & digital space. He is currently in charge of blog editor at and is passionate about creating software review that create value for user.

Articles: 256