Personification is a literary device used to give human characteristics to something that is not human. Writers use this technique for variety of purposes, from irony to imagery to tone.
After her brother receives a chess set for Christmas, Waverley learns how to play and becomes quite good. When her brother will no longer play with her, she finds opponents outside her home and gets even better. Eventually, she decides to participate in a local chess tournament, but her mother, concerned that Waverley will fail and bring shame to the family, warns her that she will be shamed if she "falls down [and] nobody push[es]" her.
As Waverly is called to compete, she notes that "the color ran out of the room." In this example of personification, the abstract concept of color is given the ability to flee from sight. This sets a tone that reflects Waverley's primary objective: to move black and white chess pieces strategically. No other colors matter. This world of winning and losing is only black and...
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