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the use of symbolism

By yurrra Oct 01, 2014 19487 Words
The Use of Symbolism in Literature

Obviously, symbolism requires the use of a symbol. Symbolism in Literature A symbol is a common object that represents meaning. For example, a common symbol in literature is the color black. Black often represents darkness or night. It may also symbolize evil or something bad. Thus the symbol of black must be interpreted within the context of the story and in light of what the author may be trying to represent with his or her use of the color.

Many types of objects, people, places or things can be used as symbolism. Virtually anything can be used as a symbol. Even a symbol can be used as symbolism. For example, the Naziad swastika, which is a symbol of the Nazi Party, can be used as a symbol for evil, death and genocide.

Fine Examples of Symbolism in Literature

Symbolism is one of the most important aspects of literature. Symbolism in literature can be found in every story ever written, as no literary work is complete without some form of symbolic meaning. Literature requires engagement of the reader and inducing the reader to think deeper about what is being said. Some of the greatest works of literature are the ones that use symbolism effectively. Here are an example of a few works of literature that use symbolism with adeptness and true brilliance:

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician turned philosopher put forth this thought in his lecture, Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, and who can disagree. This concept has seeped into the arts, in such a way that it has become an integral part of most literary works, and even general communication. A mere sight of a skull and crossbones figure, and you know that there is something that you are being warned against. Roses and images of hearts have become synonymous with love. Different colors have come to symbolize different emotions, for example purple for royalty, green for envy, and red for jealousy. But before symbols penetrated the everyday language the way it has, it became a mainstay in the literary world. Symbolism has been a writing method of choice for many authors and writers, due to the allowance of subtlety that this literary device enables you with.

According to etymology, symbol literally means something that has been put together. The source of the word is the Greek word symballein, that refers to the idea of putting things together to contrast them, and ultimately became a word that was used for compare. From the word symbol came the concept of symbolism where one object is used to refer to something else. So, when an author or a poet uses one object to refer to a completely different idea, then he or she is employing symbolism.

So why do writers use symbols in literature? What is its importance? Symbolism is used so as to give meaning to the literary work, that goes beyond what is evident to the reader. It helps in giving a mood to the piece, without the writer having to actually spell it out. By giving human-like characteristics to certain things, and also defining them with certain qualities, the writer can manage to give the novel another level. This may refer to things which are completely alien from what is mentioned in the piece of writing.

Examples

Symbolism need not necessarily have to be symbols that are easily recognizable, or ones that are commonly used. They can be subtle symbolic representations used to hint at something without making it an obvious and overwhelming statement. There are many famous examples of symbolism in novels in English language, some of which are listed out below. The Scarlet Letter: The forcible wearing of the letter 'A' by Hester Prynne, to indicate that she was an adulteress, and that the name of the father of her illegitimate child started with the letter A. The Lord of the Flies: This book was replete with symbolisms. The island was symbolic of our world, and the way the characters dealt with the various situations was signified the way many people live their lives. Every character symbolizes something, for example, Ralph is a symbol of good intentions, Piggy stands for intelligence and civilization, the conch stands for democracy, Jack embodies the worst characteristics of the human race, etc. In fact, several believe, that William Golding meant the title to be a reference to Beelzebub, a Hebrew name that is sometimes used to refer to Satan. MacBeth: William Shakespeare was a master of symbology. In this play, he uses blood to signify guilt, and a raven for bad luck. Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan very obviously used his protagonist to be the embodiment of every Christian. Every fellow traveler of a Christian represents states of being every place he passes, represents the temptations that you may face in life, before being led to your ultimate destination, Heaven (which in the book is Celestial City). Animal Farm: An allegorical novel, the entire story signifies communism, and the evils that come out of following the ideology. Each animal character in the book is a symbol for a key character in the Russian revolution. Harry Potter is a great way to introduce this concept to kids. The entire series uses several mythical creatures, and many common place symbols to explain events. The use of the serpent as the symbol for the house of Slytherin is a clear indication of the evil that it stands for. Symbolism is also a key part of poetry with many poets using symbols to express emotions like love, grief, death, anger, jealousy, etc.

Understanding this concept can be difficult because, while some writers use very simple imagery to put forward their views, there are others who believe in using multiple contexts to play on the symbols they have used. Symbolism is what makes prose and poetry more enchanting to read. It gives us a reason to find insights into the writer's way of thinking, and to try to understand why a writer would put forward a theory the way he or she has. It is the writer's way of playing games with the reader. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolism-in-literature.html symbol, sign representing something that has an independent existence. The most important use of symbols is in language. To say so, however, does not solve the perennial philosophical questions as to the nature of the linguistic sign. Signs are usually iconic, or related to what they signify, whereas linguistic signs are generally arbitrary. The question remains whether the word chair stands for any chair, for a particular chair, or for the idea of a chair—a problem often involved in philosophical arguments for nominalism and realism. A secondary linguistic symbolism is writing. Another, still connected with language, appears in systems of logic and mathematics (see also number).

Modern science has in its development profited from the conciseness provided by many symbols. In chemical symbols, for example, each element is represented by one or two letters (e.g., carbon, C; zinc, Zn). Some symbols are derived from non-English names, e.g., Ag for silver (Latin argentum). A chemical formula is written in chemical symbols.

In art a distinction of terms is introduced that modifies the term symbol. Although the drawings at Altamira are considered symbolic in one sense (i.e., a drawn reindeer is the symbol for a live reindeer), they are said not to be symbols in another more common sense, since they are partially iconic. If the artist had merely drawn two horns to represent an entire reindeer, the two horns might be said to be a symbol for a reindeer. Such symbolism is all-pervasive in every kind of art, especially because it lends itself to rapid, comprehensive, and compact use.

Religious symbolism is best known in its more ancient form from the discoveries of archaeologists; this is especially important in the study of Egyptian religion, in which the symbol of the god often appeared more frequently than the likeness of the god himself. Greek religion, on the contrary, seemed to eliminate symbols of gods in favor of actual images. In Judaism and Christianity religious symbolism is important, notably in the prophetic passages in the Bible and in the uses of public worship (see, for example, candle; incense; liturgy; sacrament; see also iconography).

Modern patriotism, particularly in the United States, has found a revered symbol in the flag, which began, like all heraldry, as a means of recognition. Trade symbols are sometimes quite widespread; although the wooden Indian signifying the tobacco shop has disappeared, barber poles are still common. The investigations of Sir James Frazer in comparative religion and those of Sigmund Freud in psychology, extreme though they may be, have shown that human beings tend always to use a wide symbolism, even in thinking itself, to cover ideas they avoid out of fear, propriety, or some other motive.

Symbolism in Poems
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the black bird stands for death and loss. •In William Blake’s “Ah Sunflower”, the sunflower represents people and the sun represents life: Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler’s journey is done;
In William Wordsworth’s “She Dwelt Amoung Untrodden Ways” innocence and beauty are shown with these phrases: "A violet by a mossy stone" and "Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky." •In Sara Teasdale’s “Wild Asters”, ‘spring’ and ‘daisies’ are symbols of youth and ‘bitter autumn’ is a symbol of death: In the spring, I asked the daisies

If his words were true,
And the clever, clear-eyed daisies
Always knew.
Now the fields are brown and barren,
Bitter autumn blows,
And of all the stupid asters
Not one knows.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the albatross can be seen as standing for a burden you must bear: Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Symbolism in Books, Plays & Screenplays
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the letter 'A' symbolized adultery. •In Shakespeare’s As you Like It, ‘stage’ symbolizes the world and ‘players’ symbolize men and women: All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, ‘Wuthering’ represents the wild nature of the inhabitants: My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it; I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. •In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, night is used throughout the book to represent death, darkness, and loss of faith. •In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the storm symbolizes high emotions and occurred when those emotions were present. •In the movie trilogy Star Wars, Luke was dressed in light colors and Darth Vader was dressed in black, showing good vs evil •In Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, a plant on the windowsill symbolizes needs and hope, like a plant needs the sun to grow, we have needs. •In Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch steals the symbols of Christmas, like trees, presents and food, to find out in the end Christmas was more than those things. •In Hansel and Gretel, bread symbolizes comfort and bread crumbs symbolize the way home. •In Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Aurora Leigh, women’s work is symbolized as being undervalued: The works of women are symbolical.

We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you're weary.
In the Lone Ranger, silver bullets represent justice by law: A symbol which means justice by law. I want to become known to all who see the silver bullets that I live and fight to see the eventual defeat and proper punishment by law of every criminal in the West. Symbolism in Harry Potter

Here are examples of symbolism in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: •Harry’s scar is like a badge of honor because he survived a battle. It also stands for emotional sensitivity, since it hurts when someone directs hate towards him. •The name of Albus Dumbledore: Dumbledore means bumblebee in Old English and he liked to hum. Albus means "white” which may symbolize a white wizard or good wizard. •The Golden Snitch represents the spiritual enlightenment every ‘seeker’ aims for. •Veritaserum: ‘verity’ means truth and ‘serum’ means fluid, so this potion makes people tell the truth. •Knockturn Alley: Knockturn sounds like nocturnal and the Dark Arts are practiced at night. These examples of symbolism in literature show how a few words can provide a much deeper, and different, meaning.

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