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Symbolism and Allegory. “The Persistence of Time”. Public Symbols. Public symbols are symbols that we know and recognize at once. They are ingrained in our culture. Examples: Wedding ring = Six pointed star = Cross = Red octagon = . Symbols in literature.

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Symbolism and Allegory

“The Persistence of Time”

public symbols
Public Symbols
  • Public symbols are symbols that we know and recognize at once. They are ingrained in our culture.
  • Examples:

Wedding ring =

Six pointed star =

Cross =

Red octagon =

symbols in literature
Symbols in literature
  • Literary symbol - an object, setting, event, animal, or even a person that functions in the story the way you would expect it to but also stands for something more than itself.
  • Usually stands for something abstract.

Examples: love, hate, jealousy, dependence

  • Example: LITERALLY, Equality invents the light box on his own, refuses to give it up, and escapes with it into the uncharted forest. It comes to SYMBOLIZE : __________________________.
  • Symbols work by association.
  • Association is making a connection between two or more concepts
  • Example: We associate spring with new flower buds and, therefore, with new life and hope.
  • Example: We associate winter with deterioration and, therefore, with death.
more associations
More associations

We often associate….

  • Gardens with joy
  • Wastelands with despair
  • Winter with death
  • Spring with fertility and awakening
  • Doves with peace
  • Ravens with death
symbols are not equations
Symbolsare not equations
  • As we read, we come to associate objects, characters, or settings with other qualities, but they are notequations.
  • A literary symbol does not necessarily have just ONE meaning just as a story may have more than one theme
  • Example: Equality’s light box may be interpreted as symbolizing individualism, independence, human reason, the rationality of the human mind, etc.
  • When interpreting a symbol, we must be able to justify our claim with textual evidence.
symbols involve reading between the lines
Symbols involve reading between the lines
  • Symbolsare…

A) suggested by the author

B) interpreted by the reader

  • Example: Anthem can be read on a literal level as an adventure story; however, Rand intended readers to ponder the symbolism of objects and settings (the light box, the uncharted forest, Equality’s new home, etc.) to form a deeper meaning.
  • Symbols add depth and intrigue to the literature – give the reader something to ponder.
  • The context of a symbol can change its meaning.
  • In one story, a chain may symbolize unity. In another, it may symbolize imprisonment. It depends on when, where, and how it is used in the story.
not every story is rich with symbols
Not every story is rich with symbols
  • Avoid attaching symbolism where it is not there.
  • Look for objects, characters, or settings that reappear throughout the story and is identified with something other than itself.
  • a story, poem, or picture that uses symbols to reveal a hidden meaning.
  • Contains both a literal and symbolic meaning
  • Types:
    • Fables- animals symbolize vices and virtues in order to teach a practical lessons about how to succeed in life.
    • Parables- (in the Bible) are used to teach a lesson about ethics or morality.