Personification Example in Poetry
This quote is from Angeline Schellenberg's poem, “I let my younger brother use my headphones, and he used them for evil.” Personification is the literary method being practiced here. Personification is when a particular nature or human attribute is assigned to something non-human by the poet/author.
In this poem, Schellenberg uses personification to state to the Yahoo Inquirer that the headphones have the ability to have innocence and essentially, that it was taken away. She expresses that innocence has been taken away, through the lack of tasteful music that was played by her younger brother. The Yahoo Inquirer states in the italicized text in the poem “Can I boil them in an attempt to drive the evil out”, therefore they are also stating the headphones have the ability to be good or evil. This phrase is stated as if torturing the headphone will remove the evil that was brought to them. She wants readers to feel for the headphones, as they were taken from their owner and manipulated to be submissive towards evil. Schellenberg gives readers the opportunity to visualize the headphones as if they were a person. Allowing readers to believe that evil is taught and it is not obtained at birth. Therefore, giving a human representation will allow readers to take a bias on the controversial topic of if people are born evil or if it is taught to them throughout time. The personification contributes to the overall theme of the poem; that people have the ability to change if given a suitable motivation. If the headphones are seen as human, it demonstrates that even the purest hearts can get lost in the chaos, but find their way back to themselves when given the time and motivation. “The best you can do is soften evil slightly. Make it vibrate to the suggestion goodness is good.” In this line, Schellenberg signifies that changing from good and evil isn’t immediate. Rather slowly reducing immoral habits will thrive for a more assuring outcome. Hence, when provided the right morals and abstract thought, everyone is capable of changing, whether they are your blood relation or your worst enemy.