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What Is a Symbol? Where Do We Get Symbols? Symbols in Literature Allegory Practice Part A Practice Part B Symbolism and Allegory Feature Menu.

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Presentation on theme: "What Is a Symbol? Where Do We Get Symbols? Symbols in Literature Allegory Practice Part A Practice Part B Symbolism and Allegory Feature Menu."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is a Symbol? Where Do We Get Symbols? Symbols in Literature Allegory Practice Part A Practice Part B Symbolism and Allegory Feature Menu

2 [End of Section] A symbol is an ordinary object, event, person, or animal to which we have attached a special meaning. What Is a Symbol?

3 Public symbols have been inherited, or handed down over time show up in art and literature Where Do We Get Symbols? are widely known Note

4 What does each of these symbols stand for? Why do you think they have taken on the meanings they have? justice luck love Where Do We Get Symbols?

5 [End of Section] 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 Where Do We Get Symbols?

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

7 What might the cake symbolize in this passage? What is your emotional response to the description of the cake? Symbols in Literature Quick Check The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it.... An épergne or 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?”... “It’s a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!” from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [End of Section]

8 lost love, disappointment, holding on to the past What might the cake symbolize in this passage? Symbols in Literature Quick Check The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it.... An épergne or 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?”... “It’s a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!” from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

9 It gives me the creeps. It makes me feel sorry for the woman. What is your emotional response to the description of the cake? Symbols in Literature Quick Check The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it.... An épergne or 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?”... “It’s a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!” from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

10 Allegory—a story in which characters, setting, and actions stand for something beyond themselves, such as abstract ideas moral qualities historical figures or events Allegory

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

12 Characters and places in allegories often have names that reveal their symbolic significance: CharactersPlaces Death Vanity Good Deeds Ignorance Celestial City Vanity Fair Hill of Difficulty Valley of Fear Allegory

13 What do you think Everyman, the main character of the allegory, stands for? What comment about fellowship, beauty, and strength does this allegory make? Allegory Quick Check 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” [End of Section]

14 Everyman stands for every man (or woman). Allegory Quick Check 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 do you think Everyman, the main character of the allegory, stands for?

15 Fellowship, beauty, and strength are fleeting—they don’t stay with you to the end. Allegory Quick Check 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?

16 On a symbolic level, what does it mean that only Good Deeds stays with Everyman to the end? Allegory Quick Check 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 A person’s good deeds will indicate whether he or she has led a good life. Allegory Quick Check 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” On a symbolic level, what does it mean that only Good Deeds stays with Everyman to the end?

18 A. Think about the great number of symbols we’re surrounded by in everyday life. For starters, identify what the items below stand for. Then, see if you can explain the basis for the symbol—why is this symbol appropriate for what it stands for? A snake An eagle Spring An owl A white flag Practice [End of Section]

19 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? Practice 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 [End of Section]

20 The End

21 Where Do We Get Symbols? Note Different cultures may attach different meanings to some symbols. For example, the symbolic meanings of colors are not universal.

22 Literal meaning the story that takes place on the surface Symbolic, or allegorical, meaning the story that takes place beneath the surface uses interesting characters and plot to hold the reader’s attention uses characters and events to represent ideas such as love, freedom, evil, or goodness Allegory


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