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Fictio

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Fictio

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Fictio is the attribution of human traits and qualities to animals.

Example

"Who are you?" thought the dog, as he quizzically turned his head and wondered what to do next.

The lion looked around and smiled at his wives. He was the luckiest lion in the whole savannah, and he knew it.

"My poor sweet baboo!", cried the starlet, hugging her poodle. "Shall we go shopping for boo-kins? What would you like today? Another nice coat?"

Discussion

We live and think as humans. Naturally, of course because we are human. In living this way, it is impossible for us to know what it is to be an animal. It is also even more impossible for animals to know what it is to be human.

In our need to understand the world around us and seeking to understand animals, particularly those with which we have some emotional connection, we often find it helpful (although not accurate) to think of them thinking in the way that we think. In doing this, we can then use the mental mechanics that we use for interacting with other humans, where 'theory of mind' involves a process in which we respond to how we think the other person is thinking.

Fables are teaching stories in which animals play the parts (the most famous of these are by Aesop). Putting animals in place of humans can make lessons easier to accept.

Fictio is also commonly called Anthropomorphism.

Classification: Meaning

See also

Storytelling

 

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