Symbolism, Tone and Mood: An Overview and Review
What is a symbol?
• A symbol is an ordinary object, event, person, animal, or color to which we have attached a special meaning and significance.
• So, symbolism is simply the act of attaching inner meaning to outward things.
So what is Literary Symbolism?
• When the author uses an object or reference to add deeper meaning to a story. • Can be subtle or obvious, used sparingly or heavy‐ handedly. • An author may repeatedly use the same object to convey deeper meaning or may use variations of the same object to create an overarching mood or feeling. • Often used to support a literary theme. • Writers insert symbols to allude to a feeling, mood, attitude or tone without directly stating the perspective or mood intended. Symbolism is supplemental to the story. • Often, writers use a character as a symbol.
So how does that work?
Let’s apply LITERARY SYMBOLISM TO …To Kill A Mockingbird WHAT is the obvious symbol? A mockingbird What does the mockingbird represent? Innocence How does this symbol support the theme? The most important theme of TKAM is the exploration of whether people are essentially good or essentially evil. We see Scout and Jem’s transition from a perspective of childhood innocence, in which they assume that people are good because they have never seen evil, to a more adult perspective, in which they have confronted evil and must incorporate it into their understanding of the world. Jem and Scout are both “mockingbirds” destroyed by evil. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence.
How can a person be symbolic?
WHO is a symbol in TKAM?
• Boo Radley
– Boo, an intelligent child ruined by a cruel father, is one of the book’s most important mockingbirds; he is an important symbol of the good that exists within people. Despite the pain that Boo has suffered, the purity of his heart rules his interaction ...
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