I'm confused as to whether anthropomorphic is valid in this sentence.

The definitions given to me were as follows:
1. Having human motivations
2. Ascribing human characteristics to inanimate objects

The sentence is as follows:

Bob created anthropomorphic creatures, highlighting the human failures, in his new story.

Is anthropomorphic used correctly in this sentence? I initially thought no, because if the creatures embody human characteristics, then I do not see how they would be failures, but I may be wrong.

  • 1
    It seems fine to me. Anthropomorphic creatures, to me, are creatures that have human characteristics. – user85526 May 20 '15 at 0:51
  • 3
    Goofy and Pluto are both dogs. Pluto is Mickey's pet dog. He walks on all fours and he doesn't talk. Goofy is Mickey's pal. He walks on two feet and does talk (albeit in a strange way). Goofy is an anthropomorphic character; Pluto is not. – Steven Littman May 20 '15 at 0:53

It seems that the definitions you were given were incomplete. ODO defines anthropomorphism as:

The attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to a god, animal, or object.

So it doesn't have to be an inanimate object, it can be used to describe any object that isn't actually human. When it acts like humans in some way (such as by talking or expressing human emotions), it's said to be anthropomorphic.

Well known examples are animals in cartoons (and devices, like "Thomas the Tank Engine"), and creatures in fairy tales.

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