The Face and Phases of Anthropomorphism in Children’s Literature


    Anthropomorphism, the imposition of human traits on nonhuman objects and animals, is an ancient tradition in the art of storytelling. Existing studies on anthropomorphism in literature have mostly focused on its being a satirical device in adult fiction but paid less attention to how anthropomorphism is constructed in literature for children. This study was executed to examine the depiction of anthropomorphism through folktales, modern fables, and digitales-in selected contemporary Nigerian prose narratives for children intending to establish the use of anthropomorphized characters to bring abstract concepts to life. Jean Piaget’s cognitive constructivism was adopted as the theoretical framework for the study. Five narratives were purposively selected because of their relevance to the study. The narratives were subjected to critical analyses. The face of anthropomorphism is revealed as a rhetorical tool through personification and metaphoric expressions. Anthropomorphism in children’s narratives serves as an attention grabber and a means of giving concrete information on learning through cognitive constructivism which is effective through a literature-based learning experience. In juvenile literature, anthropomorphism is used in building a relational attitude between the young readers and the fictional characters in the text for subtle facilitation of knowledge.

    Keywords: anthropomorphism, cognitive constructivism, literature-based instruction, experiential learning


    author/Dr. Helen Idowu Adhuze

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 20 Dec. 2022 |  P. 47-55