The Book Thief

why is it better than saying, "smoke from the collapsed buildings filled in the air".?

part eight personification

even when they made it around the corner, away from the center of the wreckage, the haze of the collapsed building attempted to follow. it was white and warm, and it crept behind them

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Just as Death is personifies, so are other more ominous elements in this book. The collapsed building represents destruction and the smoke, the spirit of destruction.