In "A Visit from St. Nicholas," is it snow or moon that is the subject of personification on line 13?Previously, ACCESSTEACHER, argued it is the SNOW. However, from line 14, it is ony the moon can...

In "A Visit from St. Nicholas," is it snow or moon that is the subject of personification on line 13?

Previously, ACCESSTEACHER, argued it is the SNOW. However, from line 14, it is ony the moon can shine light on the "objects below". Please clarify which between the two object is being personified.

Asked on by mwanafunzi

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linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Personification is a literacy device in which an inanimate object is given human characteristics. The lines you're asking about from this poem are these:

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

Clearly, the inanimate object that the author is assigning human characteristics is the snow. The moon is shining on the "breast" of the new-fallen snow. It is true, as you state in your question, that only the moon can shine light on objects below. However, shining light is not a human quality; we don't glow. We have to use another object to shine light on something. Humans do, though, have breasts--but snow does not. Therefore, the thing being personified here is the snow.

I hope that helps.

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