Incident at Hawk's Hill

by Allan W. Eckert

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Is there personification in the book Incident at Hawk's Hill? Personification is when nonhuman things get human characteristics.

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Anthropomorphism is like personification in that it gives human qualities to nonhuman things, usually animals. The author insists he did not anthropomorphize the badger in his story, but it's very difficult not to see humanlike qualities in her as she is described in the story. The badger is described in great detail as being four years old and weighing twenty-three pounds. The author continues to give us details about the lives of badgers as the story progresses. When Ben, the six-year-old boy in the story, gets lost and takes refuge in the badger hole, the badger is described as "accepting" his presence and trying to "take care" of him. These words suggest to me that the badger is being personified. She's also described as having just "suffered" her own trauma, having lost all her pups to starvation while she was caught in a trap. The badger brings Ben food, "adopts" him, and even tries to nurse him, "exposing her milk-swollen nipples to him". Again, I feel this is personification. The badger is the heroine of the story, and although other animals have been depicted as heroes or heroines without being personified, I would have to say in this case that the mother badger is personified.

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