Tag Archives: personification

Attila, the humanized dog

“But as time passed our Attila exhibited a love of humanity which was sometimes disconcerting. The Scourge of Europe—could he ever have been like this? They put it down to his age. What child could help loving all creatures? In their zeal to establish this fact, they went to the extent of delving into the ancient history to find out what the Scourge of Europe was like when he was a child.”

Narayan, R.K. “Attila.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. pp 98.

It is both interesting and ironic that Narayan personifies the dog so much in this chapter as though he were human, yet at the same time he also never forgets to remind you that it is just a dog, and is incapable to actually communicate with humans or to be understood completely by them; as though their was some sort of gap between consciousness that cannot be breached as they try to figure out Attila. However, complicating things further, the reader is given access to Attila’s mind/thoughts.

“The Proper Stuff of Fiction”

“‘The proper stuff of fiction’ does not exist; everything is the proper stuff of fiction, every feeling, every thought; every quality of brain and spirit is drawn upon; no perception comes amiss.  And if we can imagine the art of fiction come alive and standing in our midst, she would undoubtedly bid us break her and bully her, as well as honour and love her, for so her youth is renewed and her sovereignty assured” (Woolf 154).

Woolf personifies fiction in this quotation from “Modern Fiction”; in doing so, she expresses the concept of encouraging writers to challenge fiction and incorporate their own ideas within it.  This contrasts from other thinkers who view writing from a formulaic perspective and discourage deviation and creativity in terms of style.

Woolf, Virginia. “Modern Fiction.” In The Common Reader, 154. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 1925.