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Anthropomorphism is assigning human traits or characteristics to non-human beings or objects. For example, "the river sings" gives the river, a non-human object, the characteristic of signing. In A White Heron, Sylvia frequently anthropomorphizes her non-human companions. For example, she has conversations with the cow and imagines it respponding to her in the way a human would. When walking through the woods on a quest to find a bird for her hunter friend, she feels as though the creatures of the woods are scolding her. In reality, what Sylvia hears is really just her own guilty conscience. The author of the story asks nature itself to watch over and bless Sylvia. This is another example of anthropomorphism, since it assigns agency and autonomy to a non-human "being."
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