Anthropomorphism is the act of ascribing human characteristics to non-human beings or objects, or of giving human form to abstract concepts. It is often used in literature to comment on aspects of the world (politics, human nature, etc.) in imaginative ways.
Some examples include:
- Talking animals in fairy tales, such as Puss in Boots, and other forms of allegorical literature, such as Aesop's Fables and George Orwell's Animal Farm.
- Talking plants — especially talking trees — found in the mythology of many cultures.
- Gods, especially classical Greek and Roman gods who personified different aspects of nature and human nature.
- Human-like robots and other forms of artificial intelligence in science fiction literature, such as the computer HAL 9000 in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Certain forms of figurative language, such as personification and apostrophe.