What is symbolism? Review examples in the literature

Symbolism is the technique of using symbols, images or words to represent a broader idea or concept. Symbolism can be used to convey messages effectively and make your essay more interesting. By using symbolism, you can tell your story in a way that is more visual and evokes emotion in the reader. The best way to use symbolism is to choose one or more symbols that will represent the main theme of your essay. For example, if you want to write about freedom, then the dove could be the perfect symbol. This will give readers a visual sense of what you’re trying to convey and keep them interested in continuing reading. Also, use metaphors and similes to give your writing additional meaning. Metaphor is a phrase used to compare two different but related things. Similes are analogies used to compare two things in a more specific way. Both can be used to add additional meaning to your essay and make it more lively and memorable to readers. 

Finally, make sure that any symbolism or metaphor you use aligns with the main theme of your essay. Don’t let irrelevant symbolism or metaphor cross the boundaries of your intellectual invention; this will only defeat the original purpose of its use. Also, make sure that any symbolism or metaphor is clear to the reader so they really get the message. As such, symbolism is a great tool for enhancing your essay in a sophisticated and effective way. Use the strategies above when writing essays to make your writing come alive and impress the readers!

Types of symbolism in literature

Symbolism can be used to convey more complex ideas, feelings and ideas. These symbols can be physical objects, images or even sounds. For example, the rose symbol can represent love and warmth; the fire symbol may represent strength and energy; and the dove symbol probably represents freedom.

Some of the universal symbols that everyone can relate to are: 1. Symbol of Love: This is the most common and recognizable symbol worldwide. It consists of three interconnected circles, representing love, compassion and harmony. 2. Symbol of Happiness: This is a symbol with a smile on its face, representing happiness and joy. 3. Symbol of Courage: This is a symbol with a lion on it, representing courage and determination. 4. Symbol of Justice: This is a symbol with scales on it, depicting equality and justice for all people. 5. Safety Emblem: This is the emblem with a floating symbol on it, depicting safety and protection for everyone.

In literature, there are many types of symbolism that give works deep meaning and express complex ideas. One type is metaphorical symbols, which use abstract images to convey specific concepts. Another type is signal symbols that point to certain ideas or events, reinforcing their importance. Color symbolism is also common, where each color carries a specific meaning: red – fear or love, blue – peace or longing. Archetypal symbols such as water or fire express universal concepts and emotions. These different types of symbolism allow writers to create multi-layered works that leave room for multiple interpretations and the discovery of new meanings.


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Conventional symbols in literature

Conventional symbols in literature are widely recognized symbols that carry consistent meanings across different cultural and literary contexts. Unlike personal symbols, which may have individual interpretations, conventional symbols have established meanings understood by a broad audience. For instance, a red rose is conventionally associated with love or passion, while a white dove often symbolizes peace. These symbols serve as a shared language between authors and readers, enhancing communication and enriching the layers of meaning in a literary work. By employing conventional symbols, writers tap into a collective cultural understanding, allowing readers to grasp deeper nuances without explicit explanation.

This shared symbolism creates a bridge of comprehension, fostering a universal connection between diverse audiences and the themes explored in literature.

Some of the most common symbols in literature are: 1. Flowers: Flowers are often used to represent beauty, purity, and love. 2. Cats: Cats are often used to represent intelligence, calm, and the ability to adapt to the environment. 3. Mountain: Mountain is often used to represent height, strength, and steadfastness. 4. Moon: The moon is often used to represent secrets, mysticism, and change. 5. Sun: The sun is often used to represent light, life, and new hope. 6. Birds: Birds are often used to represent freedom and spiritual journey. Color can also convey more complex messages. Red might suggest courage, blue might suggest calm and fortitude, and green might suggest optimism. Color can also be used to establish a certain mood or to inform people of a certain purpose or objective. For example, the color red might be used to let people know they are in a safe place; blue might be used to tell people they are in a quiet place; and green might be used to tell people they are in an eco-friendly place. Water – life, freshness, cleanliness, restoration; Fire – Courage, strength, energy; and much more.

Ways to use symbolism in writing

This can help improve the quality of your essay by providing an added layer of meaning and depth. Symbolism can also help create a more immersive atmosphere, make readers feel connected to your text, and provide a broader understanding of key themes. 1. Using the symbolism of the night to describe the uncertainty and hopelessness experienced by the Jews in the concentration camps. You could describe how the night became a symbol of their uncertainty, fear, and confusion about what was going to happen to them. 2. Using the symbolism of darkness to describe the tragedy experienced by the Jews in the concentration camps. You could describe how the darkness represents the fear, despair, and loss of hope that the Jews experienced while imprisoned in concentration camps. 3. Using mystical symbolism to describe the death suffered by Jews in concentration camps. You could describe how the mystical night represents the fear of death experienced by Jews while imprisoned in concentration camps. 4. Conclude the essay by discussing how the symbolism of night, darkness, and mysticism is used as a tool to evoke negative emotions, tragedy, despair, and death suffered by Jews imprisoned in concentration camps. You can relate this theme to the problems faced by society today, such as social inequality, economic inequality and poverty. By using examples from the book, you can make a comparison between the problems faced by the characters in the novel and the problems faced by society today.


To begin with, you must determine the purpose of the symbolism you want to use. Do you want to use it to convey a certain message? Or maybe you just want to add depth and color to your text? Once you know your goal, look for examples of symbolism that are relevant to the topic or theme you want to convey. These can be comparisons, metaphors, or allusions. Then, use the symbolism carefully and carefully. Don’t overdo it with its use; if there are too many, the text will feel forced and unnatural. Use symbolism judiciously to give the impression you want without compromising the quality of the writing. Finally, be sure to check your writing before submitting it. Pay attention to whether the symbolism used is still relevant to the topic or theme you want to convey. If not, try modifying or deleting it to keep the essay focused on the main topic.