Comparing Anthropomorphism 'And The Wind In The Willows'

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Anthropomorphism--giving human form to that which is not human-- is a common facet of children's literature most often used with animals. Two novels that use anthropomorphism to great effect are The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. As a literary device, anthropomorphism serves a multitude of purposes. By making non-human beings more humanoid, giving them the ability to speak and have human emotions, a writer can use allegory and symbolism to tell a story. With anthropomorphic characters, Grahame and Milne make their respective stories less threatening and more relatable to children. Each novel has situations and roles that could be filled by people, but the inclusion of animals makes the stories more appealing to the targeted audience of young children. A side effect of having animals as the characters is to make the writing more appealing to a wider audience, especially young children. Animals that can walk and talk appear are understood to be friendly. Since children respond…show more content…
For example, the characters of Owl and Piglet are wise and timid respectively. Milne can use their appearances to his advantage in order to exaggerate their personalities where an otherwise human character would fall flat or seem, somehow, unbelievable in comparison. Animals' previously non-humanoid traits and appearances can be harnessed to further enhance their characters. Toad and Badger immediately conjure up imagery without knowing anything else about them. In the case of Toad, who is rich and rather snobbish, he can be played against stereotype of an actual toad, which is often viewed as ugly, slippery, and covered in slime. Grahame and Milne used preconceived notions of what an animal is like to go against type in order to make a point. Research into this should provide insight into how animals exhibiting human behavior pushes the envelope into what a story for children can

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