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What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature

What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature

What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature

What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature

Have you ever asked yourself how to make your essay enjoyable and interesting by changing a few lines? Symbolism is a fantastic tool to improve your paper in a sophisticated way. In this post, we will define what symbolism is and with examples cite specific uses in literature. Let’s go deeper with Classroom Essays professional essay authors.

What Is Symbolism?

Symbolism is a device used to provide things with a deeper meaning and a distinct quality using symbol. Symbols are deeply rooted in our speech without us discovering them since they enhance our discussion, make sentences sophisticated and exhibit things we discuss more candidly.

As an example: A dove is a symbol of peace, a black cat indicates bad luck, and a white flag indicates a peace offering.

The majority of symbols in custom essay writing are global and individuals from various nations and backgrounds can comprehend them. Nevertheless, several of them are culturally specific and one needs to beware in order not to upset anyone or be misunderstood.

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How Symbolism Is Utilized in Literature

Certain objects and terms represent things which are different from their literal sense. Typically, symbolism authors utilize offers much deeper and more considerable meaning to events, objects and characters throughout the message. They do so by combining them and providing certain undertones. Writers integrate symbolism to express complicated concepts aesthetically and reveal a string of particular recurring themes in their writing. Since, for the most part, the symbols used have a deeper concealed in the message, they require the readers to engage in critical reasoning. It makes the reader question the symbolic use of one or various other things as a symbol. If the theme of a book or an essay could be sensitive to particular people, symbolism likewise comes in conveniently. It can assist express ideas that a writer wishes to focus on through the prism of a symbol, rather than discussing controversial things openly.

One more reason an author could choose to make use of symbolism in his work is to create different degrees of concepts in his story. This symbolism is not only actual, but additionally deeper. It attaches the readers to his story on a various, emotional level, besides informing the tale. Readers, on the other hand, like to discover these hidden symbolic ties and meanings, due to the fact that it provides a possibility to peek into the author’s mind and get a sense of what intents he had in developing them.

The bottom line is that symbolism lets an author introduce his audience to a principle in an intriguing poetic way that does not give away the idea expressly, luring the reader right into his world packed with lovely ramifications and difficult ties.

Read also about the literature review format. Classroom Essays readers discover this short article interesting and helpful.

Types of Symbolism in Literature

There are various literary gadgets that help writers to make use of symbolism in their texts:


Metaphor is a sort of figurative language that shows the qualities of a subject in comparison with another thing, their similarity or contrast between them.
A great instance of a metaphor can be discovered at the opening words of “As You Like It”, a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare:

” All the world’s a phase,
And all the men and females gamers;
They have their departures and their entries …”

In this case, he contrasts human life to a theatre stage. Like anything that can occur in life, a phase can have all types of various plays depicted. The play will eventually come to an end sooner or later, the same as life. By making this easy comparison, he describes the complex and hard regulations of nature, such as human death. The last expression refers to individuals’ ties and their symbolism in each other’s lives as “departures” and “entrances”.


It is a figure of speech utilized when one thing gets appointed some qualities of the other and is contrasted to it. The two types are compared to each other by using the word “as” or “like”. It could appear similar to a metaphor, but the last provides a slight implication that something resembles something else, whereas a simile directly states it. A wonderful instance of a simile can be found in “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov:

” Elderly American girls leaning on their walking canes detailed towards me like towers of Pisa.”

Here Nabokov says that women’s walking sticks remind him directly of the leaning tower of Pisa— a structure in Italy, that is tilted sideways. This lovely simile showcases the artist’s intricate method of revealing his ideas, and how educated and established he is. But most importantly, it offers the reader another aesthetic of how these walking canes made him feel and how they might look like.


Another literary device that assists to make use of symbolism is an allegory. It is also comparable to a metaphor, however, it expresses the meaning of the things, their value, rather than an outside quality of similarity. With the connection that metaphor produces with the characters in writing, the reader gets a feeling of how a scenario or an issue at risk fits in the history of the world, art history, or a certain culture.

A good example of allegory in literature is “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. There he compares the culture around him to a group of children that are stuck on a deserted island.  They are victims of an aeroplane crash and are attempting to endure there. The island in the book stands for the globe itself, the conch is a symbol of law and order, and the fire represents destruction. Each kid, with his role and character, stands for a specific societal imperfection, portraying people’s defects in the organizations of the religion, national politics, morality, and lots of others.

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An archetype is an additional literary gadget that authors use to represent a human behaviour pattern that is typically universal throughout the world. One can use them and many would understand in many societies. The archetype can represent space and time, a certain theme that citizens of the world share. Numerous archetypes came into literature from folk art and fairytale.

Among one of the most usual and renowned archetypes is the hero. Several of the qualities defining a hero include mysterious situations of their birth, struggle and verifying every person who despaired in them wrong, tragic events throughout their lives, and complicated and dangerous adventures. An apt example of an archetype is Harry Potter, the main character of the collection by J.K. Rowling. He was orphaned by the cruel dark wizard Lord Voldemort and fought him throughout the book series.


An allusion is utilized to indicate something or refer to one more mythological, spiritual, or historic character without directly mentioning them. The use of allusion permits a writer to supply his message by making use of sophisticated language. Different rhetorical figures compel readers to integrate their background expertise and connect the character or trouble in question with outside references.

In his book “Fahrenheit 451”, Ray Bradbury utilizes a reference to a historic disaster that happened in 79 A.D. near the city of Pompeii, Italy. Here a volcano called Vesuvius appeared and eliminated the whole population, leaving the city covered in ashes.

” Mildred ran from the shop like a native leaving an eruption of Vesuvius.”

By using this explicit insinuation, Bradbury discusses that Mildred was fleeing from something awful, as fast as she could, due to the fact that it would have otherwise eliminated her– much like every resident of Pompeii.


Authors use hyperbole in a text in order to overemphasize someone’s trait or particular, such as power, charm, wide range, impact, stamina, and many others. Hyperbole generally has an enjoyable impact utilized to help readers picture the strengths of the message. An example of hyperbole would be a line from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”:

” I had to wait in the station for ten days– an eternity.”

In order to suggest how painful, worrisome, and tiring it was for the character to wait in the station for 10 days, he compares it to infinity. It was only 10 days but really felt a lot longer under the circumstances. Irrespective of the literary device you choose you must adequately understand what symbolism is and express them with examples in different works of literature.

Conventional Symbols in Literature

What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature- some common symbols

What Is Symbolism with Examples in Literature- some common symbols

Society tends to incorporate A few of the symbols in literature so deeply that they become conventional. The symbols are clear to practically any individual. This is because of the fact that they create images and moods immediately once the author introduces them.

Colours normally suggest certain emotions and characteristics with powerful meanings: red– anger, blood, love, or passion; blue– tranquillity and peace of mind; green– wealth, envy, nature; white– purity, innocence, spiritualism; purple– royalty and many others.

Seasons in most cases relate to age: spring– young people and freshness, the start of something new. Similarly wintertime. represents senior individuals or perhaps death, the zenith of one’s life.  Summer on the other hand goes for the peak of development, the prime of life; autumn– degeneration, negative modification, centre life, growing older.

There are lots of various other daily life things that include symbolism: light– excellent, hope, and flexibility; darkness– misfortune, misfortune, wickedness, the unknown; wind– modification in life, speed, change, lack of ability to change things, devastation; rainbow– hope for the much better.

Some objects and animals can also impute symbolic meaning: dove– peace; snake– wicked; steed– phallic sexuality; a ring– fidelity, happiness; a damaged mirror– rotten luck and tragedy; a chain– unity or jail time.

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Ways to Utilize Symbolism in Writing

As we saw previously, there are many different literary tools that can help utilize symbolism in your very own writing. Once you know what symbolism is, you must learn how to paint or identify with examples of their use in a piece of literature. Comprehending their function and instances helps you install them in your essay. Symbolism has many functions in writing

Several of the important things you can compose in your essays with symbolism are adding feelings. In “Evening” by Ellie Wiesel, the idea of night, its darkness and its secret are made use of as a symbol. They represent unfavourable emotions, disaster, despair, and fatality suffered by incarcerated Jews in the prisoner-of-war camp.

One more role it might play in your paper is connecting themes. In “The Fantastic Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He makes use of the colour green throughout the entire book suggesting a wide range and desire for money, a need of getting rich even with any kind of ethical issues, a deluxe way of life, and grandeur.

You could additionally have an  interest in reviewing THE FANTASTIC GATSBY BOOK THROUGH DAISY BUCHANAN CHARACTER

Specifying a character
is another thing an individual may accomplish while making use of symbolism. In Harper Lee’s ‘To Eliminate a Mockingbird’ the character of Tom suggests innocence. This is because he was injured, but he, like a mockingbird, is safe.

” Mockingbirds do not do one thing yet … sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to eliminate a mockingbird.”

The best way to incorporate symbols in your essay is to do so as soon as you finish composing. At this juncture, you can look for places where you can include the best out of the entire body of text. By no means need to symbolism be your primary focus of writing. Rather, you must focus on the strengths of the story and its personalities. Symbolism is only an improvement of a piece that is currently strong. It helps you to boost the story, make it active and brilliant, and showcase its intricacy to the reader.


It is not extremely challenging to make use of symbolism in your own writing. Using the knowledge of what symbolism is you can experiment with various examples in any piece of literature. Examples like Metaphor, allegory, hyperbole, allusion, archetype, and more describe what symbolism is in literature. A straightforward comparison of one thing to one more can improve the text in a major way. It could also display your semantic abilities, and make the text stunning general, like a blossom. See what I did there? Not that hard, I presume.

We additionally suggest that you check out the article on how to write an essay introduction.

If you require a Helping Hand with Symbolism?

If you experience any more difficulty making use of the art of symbolism in your next essay, you can always depend on the Classroom Essays service. The writer appointed to your compose my paper request is qualified to assist you. The writer can tackle essays of various degrees of difficulty.  They guarantee to provide fantastic results that will make your academic journey very easy and successful.

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