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Symbolism and Allegory

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Presentation on theme: "Symbolism and Allegory"— Presentation transcript:

1 Symbolism and Allegory

2 Symbolism What is a symbol?
Often an ordinary object, event, person, or animal to which we attach unusual meaning and significance. For example: Skull and crossbones represents a symbol of danger or poison Red roses represents a symbol of love Lion represents a symbol of power and courage Crown represents a symbol of royalty

3 Symbolism Where do symbols come from?
handed down or inherited over time invented by someone or something For example: our school symbol – dawg print / Scottie head However, we may not know the origin of many symbols, including common ones.

4 Why use symbols? Why don’t writers just come right out and say what they mean rather than using symbols? Symbols allow writers to suggest various types of meanings. Sometimes, literal statements can’t explain what something means on the same level that a symbol can. They also allow for creativity and imagination.

5 Allegory What is an allegory?
An allegory is a story in which characters, settings, and actions stand for something beyond themselves. There is a literal meaning AND a symbolic meaning. For example: Characters and setting of a story may represents abstract ideas or moral qualities. Characters and situations may stand for historical figures and events. Allegories are often intended to teach a moral lesson or to make a comment about goodness.

6 Symbolism Practice… 1.) Identify what you think the items below stand for. 2.) Then, explain: why is this symbol appropriate for what it stands for? A snake An eagle Spring An owl A white flag 3.) Be prepared to discuss your answers.

7 Allegory Practice… Read the following poem and answer the question below. 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 Literal meaning of a fen: A fen is a swampy place. What do you believe the fen symbolizes in this poem? Be prepared to discuss your answer.

8 “The Scarlet Ibis” Make a list of situations that might make someone feel proud. Is pride positive or negative – can it be both? What does it mean to be proud? Read “The Scarlet Ibis” on page 343. The setting of this story is in the South. Its climax takes place in 1918, the year World War I ended. You will find references in the story to battles being fought from its peaceful southern setting. As you read, think about why the author chose this setting. Be prepared to discuss.

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