Dealing with that lovely dragon, Symbolism

Dealing with that lovely dragon, Symbolism

A Lesson by Camille Corbett

A small guide on what symbolism actually is and how to create good symbols in your works.


What is Symbolism? 
The use of multiple symbols representing differentiated terms in a system which conveys meaning.

Examples of Symbolism:

1.) The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is filled symbolism! An  example of one that is quite obvious is the use of a snake to represent evil. It is no coincidence that the symbol of Slytherin House is a serpent. 

2.)  In the Book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton,  She used winter to symbolize forces which stifle the human spirit.

3.) Such as in Harry Potter, the Marquis in the Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, symbolizes evil and social disorder.

In literature, symbolism is used to provide meaning to the writing beyond what is actually being described. The plot and action that take place in a story can be thought of as one level, while the symbolism of certain things in the writing act on another level to enhance the story. 

Symbolism can take place by having the theme of a story represented on a physical level. Such as in the Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorn,when Hester, her daughter and Dimmesdale are in the town square at night and the light hits Hester and her daughter but it shirks from Dimmesdale. the light and dark in that represents cleanliness, for in the Christian religion, a person must confess of their sins before being cleansed.

Personally, I despise symbolism that's over the top 
ex. The blood trailing in the snow, symbolizes the bright, strong, love I have for her that will follow her  till she dies.
and don't choke up a story trying to fill it with symbolism, because sometimes, even when you don't realize it, you  are inserting symbolism when you write.

 For instances if you name a character Hercules because he is very strong, that is symbolism and you were just playing around.

For your "homework'' I would like you to write an example of symbolism in a book, play, or piece of prose. Also, work on your symbolism.


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Andre stubbed out his smoke and turned off the television. This had been his ritual before bed since he was sixteen.It fit his biological ritual sleeping till the next morning, when he would wake up grab his tools and start anew.
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Camille Corbett
Camille Corbett

Marietta, GA

I'm a 21 year old Fulbright ETA writing to kill the time and find my sanity. I have been gone for a while. But I have returned, so watch out for some new stories.