Difference Between Metaphor and Personification

Metaphor vs Personification

Have you noticed how some public speakers acquire power to mesmerize audiences while others, though they make use of more authentic information fail to create an impression? The same can be said about writers who make use of figures of speech in their writings to lace their text with words that make all the difference. Describing someone or something by comparing it with someone or something else to buttress your point is making use of figurative language. Metaphors and personification are two such figures of speech that have similarities that confuse people. This article will highlight their differences to let readers know how to make correct use of metaphor and personification.

If I say that you are what you eat, I certainly do not mean that you are a chicken or mutton if these are dishes you eat. It just means that one is a product of his own thinking. But use of metaphor makes the speech so much more powerful as it draws a direct comparison between two totally different things, you and what you eat. If someone says Hussain is the Picasso of India, he is directly comparing Hussain with the greatest painter of all times. Metaphor is a final equation and leaves no doubts in the minds of the reader or the audiences. But it has an effect that is hard to get without using figurative speech. By using metaphor, a speaker can compare two things that are not related or are hard to find relation with each other. If I say my friend has a heart of gold, it doesn’t mean that his heart is made of gold but rather he is a very kind hearted man.

Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities are attributed to non living things to make for an interesting reading. Look at the following example.

Money and fame are fickle companions. They are not your true friends.

Here, money and fame are likened with the qualities of a man which is not normally possible but using personification, a speaker easily makes a reader or audience feel as if these are human beings.

In Brief:

Difference Between Metaphor and Personification

• Metaphor and personification are figures of speech that make a speech more impressive by making comparisons with totally unrelated objects and things that are normally not possible.

• Sachin is the shining star on Indian sports horizon is a metaphor. While Sachin cannot be a star, the use of metaphor illustrates his importance in the field of sports.

• Personification gives the speaker power to attribute human qualities to inanimate objects.