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Symbolism and Allegory Page 402

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Title: Symbolism and Allegory Page 402


1
Symbolism and AllegoryPage 402
  • CCRS L.9-10.6
  • Literary Skills Understand Imagery and Allegory

2
What Is a Symbol?
A symbol is an ordinary object, event, person, or
animal to which we have attached a special
meaning.
3
Where Do We Get Symbols?
  • Public symbols
  • have been inherited, or handed down over time
  • are widely known
  • show up in art and literature

4
Where Do We Get Symbols?
What does each of these symbols stand for? Why do
you think they have taken on the meanings they
have?
justice
luck
love
5
Where Do We Get Symbols?
  • Invented symbols
  • come about when writers make a character, object,
    or event stand for some human concern
  • sometimes become well known and gain the status
    of public symbol

6
Symbols in Literature
  • Writers use symbols to
  • suggest layers of meaning that a simple, literal
    statement could never convey
  • speak more powerfully to the readers emotions
    and imagination
  • make their stories rich and memorable

7
Symbols in Literature
Quick Check
What might the cake symbolize in this passage?
The most prominent object was a long table with a
tablecloth spread on it. . . . A centrepiece of
some kind was in the middle of this cloth it was
so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form
was quite undistinguishable . . . I saw
speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies
running home to it, and running out from it. . .
. What do you think that is? she asked me,
again pointing with her stick that, where those
cobwebs are? . . . Its a great cake. A
bride-cake. Mine! from Great Expectations by
Charles Dickens
What is your emotional response to the
description of the cake?
8
Symbols in Literature
Quick Check
What might the cake symbolize in this passage?
The most prominent object was a long table with a
tablecloth spread on it. . . . A centrepiece of
some kind was in the middle of this cloth it was
so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form
was quite undistinguishable . . . I saw
speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies
running home to it, and running out from it. . .
. What do you think that is? she asked me,
again pointing with her stick that, where those
cobwebs are? . . . Its a great cake. A
bride-cake. Mine! from Great Expectations by
Charles Dickens
lost love, disappointment, holding on to the past
9
Symbols in Literature
Quick Check
What is your emotional response to the
description of the cake?
The most prominent object was a long table with a
tablecloth spread on it. . . . A centrepiece of
some kind was in the middle of this cloth it was
so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form
was quite undistinguishable . . . I saw
speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies
running home to it, and running out from it. . .
. What do you think that is? she asked me,
again pointing with her stick that, where those
cobwebs are? . . . Its a great cake. A
bride-cake. Mine! from Great Expectations by
Charles Dickens
It gives me the creeps. It makes me feel sorry
for the woman.
10
Allegory
Allegorya story in which characters, setting,
and actions stand for something beyond
themselves, such as
  • abstract ideas
  • moral qualities
  • historical figures or events

11
Allegory
  • Allegories
  • can be read on two levels literal and symbolic
  • are often intended to teach a moral lesson or
    make a comment about goodness and vice

12
Allegory
Characters and places in allegories often have
names that reveal their symbolic significance
Characters
Places
Death Vanity Good Deeds Ignorance
Celestial City Vanity Fair Hill of
Difficulty Valley of Fear
13
Allegory
Quick Check
What do you think Everyman, the main character of
the allegory, stands for?
One day, Everyman is summoned by Death to give
an accounting of his life. Everyman ask his
friends Fellowship, Beauty, Strength, and Good
Deeds to go with him to tell Death that he has
led a good life. Only Good Deeds stays with him
to the end. summary of Everyman
What comment about fellowship, beauty, and
strength does this allegory make?
14
Allegory
Quick Check
What do you think Everyman, the main character of
the allegory, stands for?
One day, Everyman is summoned by Death to give
an accounting of his life. Everyman ask his
friends Fellowship, Beauty, Strength, and Good
Deeds to go with him to tell Death that he has
led a good life. Only Good Deeds stays with him
to the end. summary of Everyman
Everyman stands for every man (or woman).
15
Allegory
Quick Check
What comment about fellowship, beauty, and
strength does this allegory make?
One day, Everyman is summoned by Death to give
an accounting of his life. Everyman ask his
friends Fellowship, Beauty, Strength, and Good
Deeds to go with him to tell Death that he has
led a good life. Only Good Deeds stays with him
to the end. summary of Everyman
Fellowship, beauty, and strength are
fleetingthey dont stay with you to the end.
16
Allegory
Quick Check
On a symbolic level, what does it mean that only
Good Deeds stays with Everyman to the end?
One day, Everyman is summoned by Death to give
an accounting of his life. Everyman ask his
friends Fellowship, Beauty, Strength, and Good
Deeds to go with him to tell Death that he has
led a good life. Only Good Deeds stays with him
to the end. summary of Everyman
17
Allegory
Quick Check
On a symbolic level, what does it mean that only
Good Deeds stays with Everyman to the end?
One day, Everyman is summoned by Death to give
an accounting of his life. Everyman ask his
friends Fellowship, Beauty, Strength, and Good
Deeds to go with him to tell Death that he has
led a good life. Only Good Deeds stays with him
to the end. summary of Everyman
A persons good deeds will indicate whether he or
she has led a good life.
18
Practice p. 403
A. Think about the great number of symbols were
surrounded by in everyday life. For starters,
identify what the items below stand for. Then,
see if you can explain the basis for the
symbolwhy is this symbol appropriate for what it
stands for?
  • A snake
  • An eagle
  • Spring
  • An owl
  • A white flag

19
Practice p. 403
B. Here is a brief poem that works on two levels
a literal level and a symbolic level. A fen is a
swampy place. What does the fen symbolize in this
poem?
I May, I Might, I Must If you will tell me why
the fen appears impassable, I then will tell you
why I think that I can get across it if I
try. Marianne Moore
20
Activity
  1. Think of a story you have read or a movie you
    have seen that contained a symbol. What was the
    symbol and what was its symbolic meaning?
  2. Write a short allegory in which you teach a
    lesson about life. Name the characters in your
    story using the qualities they represent. Use the
    story of Everyman as an example (p. 403). Make
    sure you establish a setting, have clear
    characters, and teach a moral lesson.
  3. P. 404 Quickwrite
  4. P. 405 Read The Osage Orange Tree
  5. P. 413 Questions 1-7
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