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Is the phrase "honest air" an example of metaphor or personification?

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kwirkup | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 6, 2011 at 7:45 PM via web

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Is the phrase "honest air" an example of metaphor or personification?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 8, 2011 at 5:12 AM (Answer #1)

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The correct answer regarding the literary device used in the phrase "honest air" is personification.

Personification is the giving of human characteristics to non-human/non-living things.

A metaphor is a comparison between two things not using the words "like" or "as" in the comparison. If one uses "like" or "as" then the comparison would be considered a simile.

Given that air is not a human, air simply cannot be honest. Only humans can be honest. Example of personification, so that you are able to identify the devices more easily are:

whispering trees, screaming tides, laughing grasses, waving trees.

Examples of metaphors would be:

Life is a highway (comparison of life and a highway).

She is a pig (comparison between a woman/girl and a pig).

To change the phrase "honest air" into a metaphor, one would do the following: the air is honest Abe.

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timmonious | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 6, 2011 at 8:46 PM (Answer #2)

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"Honest air" is an example of personification, because it gives the air the quality of being honest, which is a human characteristic.

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