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How a Jay Came to Life

In: English and Literature

Submitted By LunaJade
Words 432
Pages 2
How a Jay Came to Life
Mark Twain effectively uses personification in his story Baker’s Blue Jay Yarn, to give animals a humorous personality. Personification is the attributing of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed or believed by some to belong only to humans) to animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. In the story, Twain uses personification to tell a very entertaining story, giving the jay a personality and a distinct manner of speech. He also compares the jay to other animals and shows the differences between them.
In the story the jay is the best speaker in the animal kingdom. He is very proud and likes to show off his talent whenever possible. He not only uses good grammar, but can also use comparisons and metaphors. The blue jay can put whatever he feels into words. And not any commonplace words, either, but talk straight out of a book, full of metaphors. And you will never see a blue jay stuck for a word. Nobody ever did.
The author gives the blue jay a very human personality. In the story it says the jay has no principles. A jay will lie, a jay will steal. A jay can cry, a jay can laugh, a jay can feel shame, a jay can reason and plan and discuss, a jay likes gossip and scandal, a jay has got a sense of humor. For instance, once the bird realized he was trying to fill a house with acorns he burst out laughing. Furthermore, a jay knows when he is an ass just as well as you do- maybe better. In addition, the blue jay has personality traits of determination and stubbornness. For example, he doesn’t stop trying to fill the hole even when it seems impossible
Mark Twain also compares the jay’s manner of speech to a cat’s. He says that the cat normally uses good grammar but when it gets excited a cat will start to use terrible grammar. Most people think it’s the noise that fighting cats make, but no, it’s the horrible grammar they use. In contrast, the jay will only use bad grammar in extreme circumstances, and if it does it will stop talking immediately.
In my personal opinion personification is best when used in a humorous way, and that is exactly what Mark Twain did with this story. He took an ordinary bird, gave it a personality, and transformed it into an extraordinary character. This shows that you can take something boring and uninteresting, personify it, and get something new and entertaining.…...

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