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Symbols and Symbolism

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Symbols and Symbolism A symbol is anything that hints at something else, usually something abstract, such as and idea or belief. A literary symbol is an object, a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Symbols and Symbolism


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Symbols and Symbolism
  • A symbol is anything that hints at something
    else, usually something abstract, such as and
    idea or belief.
  • A literary symbol is an object, a person, a
    situation, or an action that has a literal
    meaning in a story but suggests or represents
    other meanings.

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Two Types of Symbols
  • General
  • A general symbol is universal in its meaning.
    Even if a general symbol were removed from a work
    of literature, it would still suggest a larger
    meaning.
  • Ex Rose

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Two Types of Symbols
  • Specific
  • A specific symbol is not universal in its
    meaning. It acquires a specific meaning based on
    how it relates to the content of a novel, poem,
    etc. The symbols significance exists only within
    the content created by the author.
  • Ex Mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird

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When writing about symbolism
  • Identify the symbol, noting if an object
  • Appears repeatedly,
  • Has an unusually vivid quality,
  • Is described with language conveying much
    emphasis, or
  • Has more significance than its literal reality
    would suggest.

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When writing about symbolism
  • Determine symbolic meanings.
  • Carefully examine how the symbol functions in
    relation to the story.
  • Ask yourself what idea is represented by the
    symbol.

8
When writing about symbolism
  • Classify the symbols.
  • Classification may reveal opposite relationships,
    such as symbols of good and evil, life and death,
    or eternal and ephemeral.
  • Symbols may also fall into isolated categories,
    such as destruction, innocence, or sexuality.

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When writing about symbolism
  • Classify the meaning of a symbol.
  • Determine how much depth a particular symbol has
    and classify its possible meanings.
  • While your paper may focus on only one major
    symbol, you may be able to divide it into two
    specific meanings and two general meanings.

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Remember!
  • A symbol has a literal meaning in a story but
    suggests or represents other meanings.
  • Not all symbolism is obvious often it is subtle
    and indirect.

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Symbols in The Bluest Eye
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