In To Kill A Mockingbird, what are some insightful inferences from quotes that use personification? (e.g. "picket drunkenly guarded.")
About six pages in to Chapter 8, Miss Maudie's house is on fire. Scout, as narrator, mentions how the "fire silently devoured" the house. Fire does in fact seem to eat/devour what it burns, but the most common notion of "devour" is to eat, so this is somewhat of a personification because it endows an inanimate object with human/living quality.
At the beginning of Chapter 4, Scout finds something in the knot in the tree for the first time. It is some chewing gum wrapped in tinfoil. The foil, reflecting the sunlight, glimmers and Scout says that it "winks" at her. She attributes a human function of winking to an object:
Some tinfoil was sticking in a knot-hole just above my eye level, winking at me in the afternoon sun.
Three pages into Chapter 1, Scout describes a basic history of her family and of Maycomb. She describes Maycomb as a "tired" town:
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.
She uses a human experience (being tired) to describe the general culture and landscape of the town. She means that the town looks and seems old. The courthouse sags. The sidewalks have grass growing through them. Everything seemed hotter then (in Scout's youth). As a consequence, people seemed to move slower. Everything seemed "tired" in appearance and behavior.