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Symbolism. Symbolism: the representation of things by use of symbols Symbol: something that stands for, represents, or suggests another thing.

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Presentation on theme: "Symbolism. Symbolism: the representation of things by use of symbols Symbol: something that stands for, represents, or suggests another thing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Symbolism

2 Symbolism: the representation of things by use of symbols Symbol: something that stands for, represents, or suggests another thing

3 There are some images and ideas which are familiar symbols to nearly everyone. Advertisers and marketers bank on our ability to recognize symbols. Take a look….





8 Symbols are also used in our everyday life to indicate important things, such as…





13 But, symbols can also be used to denote more abstract ideas such as…





18 Authors will also use symbolism in a story to help readers understand the theme, or message, of the story.

19 Sometimes symbolism is easy to spot, such as “Severus Snape” (from the Harry Potter series.) We know he’s evil, as the name “Severus” (or “severe”) suggests. The character wouldn’t be the same if his name was Sammy Cuddlekins.

20 Sometimes it’s a bit more tricky to see…

21 Sam loves onions and helps to cure sick people with the onion remedies that he makes. The onions allow Stanley and Zero to regain their health and rest before attempting to break free of the oppression of Camp Green Lake. The onions also help Stanley and Zero avoid bites from the deadly yellow- spotted lizards that frequent Camp Green Lake. In the novel Holes, onions symbolize healing.


23 Grasp the meaning of "symbol." Just as the American bald eagle is often thought of as the symbol of the United States, symbols used in literature are objects used to represent other things or ideas. TIP #1

24 TIP #2: Recognize the signs. There are several ways to recognize symbolism in literature. One is the frequency an object or character is mentioned in a piece of literature--if it is mentioned often, it is probably important. Another way to find a symbol is to look at how much detail is used in describing an object. These two methods give clues that the writer wants you to infer something about a particular object.

25 TIP #3: Familiarize yourself with the author's work and style. A symbol in a piece of literature often represents an important issue of the time in which the author lived, or has personal significance to the writer. Edgar Allan Poe, for example, is well-known for the tragedy he suffered during his lifetime. His stories and poetry often included dark imagery and death which were undoubtedly symbolic of the events in his life.

26 TIP #4: Trust your feelings. If an image or object described by the author makes you react in a certain way, you are probably on to something, never discredit your own feelings just because you're a novice. It is very likely that the author planted the image in the work in a particular way to alert the reader that a symbol is important.

27 TIP #5: Look to others. There's no shame in reading critical essays about a literary work to gain a better understanding of it, or in discussing a piece of literature with a teacher or classmate. With experience, finding symbols will become easier, but when you are first starting out, it never hurts to get ideas from others who have a better grasp of symbolism.

28 On Halloween, a teenage boy goes trick-or-treating. At one house a woman remarks that he is “too old to be going around getting candy like a kid.” Troubled by the remark, the boy stands in the street, hesitating to go to the next house. A young child in a costume walks by. The teenager suddenly hands the child his bag of assorted treats, then turns and starts walking back home.

29 What does the bag of candy symbolize in this story?

30 It was time for winter holidays and the cold, damp ground was blanketed with snow. One lonely man peered out his window, wondering what the evening would bring. Each winter holiday he invited people to his home, and each winter holiday, no one came to the festivities. This year he decided to offer his home one more time - just one more time or he would give up hope.

31 As dusk fell, with his table full and house tidied, he paced once more to the frosty window. Through the trees, he watched as one bright star began to twinkle in the sky. When he looked down from the sky, he saw a familiar face glance at his house number and begin walking down his pathway to the door. His heart filled with joy as he reached for the door’s handle.

32 What did the bright star in the sky symbolize?

33 Now, you’ll read 5 super-small paragraphs and see if you can identify symbolism. *FIRST, read each story SILENTLY and see if you can figure out the symbolism. We’ll discuss it as a class in about 10 minutes.

34 “Fences” In the short story “Fences,” what did the symbol of a fence really stand for? Think about the sound of their music harmonizing and floating through the air. What was their music symbolizing?

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