With etymological origin in the Latin word inanimātus, inanimate is a adjective which refers to what lacks soul . The term also refers to what does not give signs of life .
For example: "When the man started treating the inanimate doll like a person, his relatives began to worry", "The vehicle was moving at full speed when it ran into an inanimate object that forced the driver to perform a sudden maneuver", “The inanimate being suddenly charged lifetime thanks to the intervention of the fairy ”.
Although the inanimate is usually associated with the lack of movement or mobility, the concept is not really linked to the still or immovable but to the lack of courage . That absence of soul as the principle or essence of life means that the inanimate does not belong to the plane of the human.
It is easy to understand the notion of inanimate from the famous history from Pinocchio . This character created by the Italian writer Carlo Collodi It is a wooden puppet: it has no soul or life. However, a fairy made him a real child from the desire of Geppetto , the man who had made the doll. Pinocchio In this way, he stops being inanimate and becomes a human being.
The question of the inanimate motivates all kinds of philosophical, religious and even scientific debates. A sample of the importance of consensus on the existence or absence of soul It occurs in pregnancy. Defining when a set of cells begins to be considered as a human being who already has a soul is key to analyzing the abortion , to cite a case.
This term is part of a relatively peculiar group since it is not especially rare or difficult to understand but is not often used in everyday speech either. This is because in an informal conversation we usually adjective those nouns that are not in the focus of our speech but only those that interest us most and, above all, to express our feelings to them.
Given an example, if we tell a friend that the day before we were in a store and bought a coat, we will probably focus on the latter to describe it with adjectives, since it is the object of our interest, and do not stop at characteristics of the building, the neighborhood, the people, etc., as it would happen in a literary narrative. That said, when we talk about a piece of furniture or a rock we don't need to clarify that they are inanimate objects, just as we don't clarify that a person or a dog is not.
In the field of rhetoric , there is a figure called prosopopoeia or personification which consists in giving inanimate objects, abstract ideas or animals actions or qualities of human beings. This belongs to the group of ontological metaphors (Ontology is the philosophical branch that studies the relationships between acts and their subjects, as well as between entities).
A classic example of prosopopeya is found in the following excerpt from the work Phèdre of the French playwright Jean Racine : "With what rigor, Destiny, you persecute me!". In other cases we can see personified death, nature or the stars, for example. Animals that speak, walk and dress as human beings are also very common in the fiction , especially in the one intended for children, although not exclusively.
It should be mentioned that in its origins, the concept of prosopopeya was defined as the attribution of Actions to deceased or absent people, such as when talking about what our ancestors would do if they were here.