Essays on Symbolism

Essays on Symbolism

When looking at a piece of art, we always appreciate the hard work and dedication that the artist does. Sometimes we later discover another meaning within the piece. This is called symbolism. Sometimes symbolism can reference a character’s journey by how the stage is lightened, or how a film is shot, or what a character is saying that might impact the story. Or maybe how the visuals are saying to the audience. Sometimes symbolism can really help the story but it really depends on how they do. What they need to is do something that doesn’t reveal everything. The audience should think about what may happen, but the audience shouldn’t have all the answers.

For one to understand symbolism, one must know the definition. Symbolism is the art of using objects to represent ideas or qualities. This style allows the creator to show the message of what the artist is trying to say or to express mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind. Symbolism is an art movement in French, Russia, and Belgium. This technique has been discovered by theatrical artist Edgar Alan Poe. One may say this technique has inspired many other artiest throughout that age and has expanded throughout the decades.

The key idea to understand symbolism is the emphasis on emotions, feelings, ideas, and subjectivity rather than realism. Their works are personal and express their own ideologies, particularly the belief in the artist's power to reveal the truth. Even in modern times, films do this a lot when you are looking at a certain point of view.

Symbolism doesn’t just rely on theatre productions, it’s also had an impact on film productions as well. But the definition is just the same. Symbolism was easily used in literature, paintings, and drawings. Poets and authors could introduce different symbols to express their views, especially on current issues or movements. Symbolism was just used in literature, paintings, and drawings in the 19th century. Poets and authors can introduce different symbols to express their views on where they stand political, religious, or a movement which they stand. But also, people can use human figures to bring different meanings or themes in a play. This also includes things in naturalism and materialism.

Symbolism is mostly used to raise awareness of moral issues in society. Even using mythical mythology to tell their stories. Symbolists combined religious mysticism, the perverse, the erotic, and the decadent. The symbolist subject matter is typically characterized by an interest in the occult, the morbid, the dream world, melancholy, evil, and death. Modern playwrights and directors use symbols that focus on human consciousness and express opinions on social issues.

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We've found 61 essays on Symbolism

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What is Symbolism

Symbolism is a commonly used literary device in different forms of literature to communicate some of the hidden meanings in them. It is also employed by the writer to express some characters’ emotional effects. In the piece, Ibsen employs the use of symbolism to communicate …

Words 562
Pages 3
What Astrology Is and What It Is Not

Introduction In the words of Joseph Crane , “Astrology’s purpose is to use the positions of the planets and stars in the sky to gather information on humanity. Astrology is a system that enables us to understand the past, present and the future within a …

Words 1051
Pages 5
Symbolism of the Red Flapper Dress in Angela’s Ashes

In Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, the symbol of Angela’s red flapper dress highlights the pain of lost dreams. This symbol is very important because it highlights Angela’s youthful dreams, the beginning of Frank’s dreams and also how Angela’s dreams end. Frank uses Angela’s red dress …

Angelas AshesSymbolism
Words 1098
Pages 5
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Symbolism in The Natural

The novel The Natural by Bernard Malamud is an excellent peace of sports literature. It follows the story of Roy Hobbs as he is reaching old age in the game of baseball. The plot follows his initial talent in a scene set years before the …

Words 731
Pages 3
The Symbolism in A Rose for Emily

The Symbolism in “A Rose for Emily” “I want the best you have… I want arsenic. ” Emily was purchasing rat poison. Did she really have rats? Or did she poison her husband Homer Barron? William Faulkner used a few ciphers in “A Rose for …

A Rose for EmilySymbolism
Words 659
Pages 3
The Shack, a Discussion of Symbolism

2/16/09 The Shack: A Discussion of Symbolism The Shack, written by William P. Young, tackles one man’s quest for faith and reassurance in God through several metaphors, parables and symbols. These symbols are used to compare the story religion itself; and from this comparison it …

Words 1468
Pages 6
Symbolism in The Storm

Symbolism in “The Storm” “The Storm”, written by Kate Chopin in 1898, examines the uncontrollable desires of a young wife, lured into the arms of her past lover as her husband and son are caught in a storm. Bobinot and four-year-old Bibi are running errands …

Words 623
Pages 3
The Religious Symbolism and Architecture of Angkor Wat and Borobudur

Built by the Khmers between 802 and 1220 AD, the ancient temples of Angkor Wat exist as the remaining relics of a historically and religiously rich city. While many other historical and religious structures in Cambodia have disappeared due in part from being constructed out …

Words 1595
Pages 7
Symbolism of Blindness

Symbol of Blindness in King Lear Blindness is usually defined as the physical ability of the eye to see. But in King Lear by William Shakespeare, blindness is not just a physical quality but also a mental flaw that people possess. This mental flaw can …

Words 1762
Pages 8
Symbolism of the Forest in the Scarlet Letter

Symbolism of the Forest in The Scarlet Letter In The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “For what other dungeon is so dark as one’s own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one’s self! ” Hawthorne asserts that every individual becomes a hostage …

Words 1577
Pages 7
Symbolism in the Truman Show

Analyse how one or more symbols were used to present an important idea or ideas. In The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir, three recurring symbols were used to present important ideas. These motifs; the dome, the circle and the chest present important themes, such …

SymbolismTruman Show
Words 583
Pages 3
Christian Symbolism in the Old Man and the Sea

Christian Symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea Christian symbolism, especially images that refer to the crucifixion of Christ, is present throughout The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway’s novel can be construed as an allusion to the Bible and the struggles of Jesus. …

Words 973
Pages 4
The Scarlet Letter Symbolism

The Rosebush The rose bush is a discreet yet important symbol in the novel The Scarlet Letter. The rosebush is first mentioned in the chapter, “The Prison Door. ” The narrator is setting the first major scene by describing the scenery. He is comparing the …

Words 313
Pages 2
Catcher in the Rye Symbolism

The Dangers of Isolation in The Catcher in the Rye It is normal to want to get away from all of the problems of the world, but it is not normal to want to be completely isolated from people. Holden wanted to have no human …

SymbolismThe Catcher in the Rye
Words 692
Pages 3
Symbolism in William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’

Symbolism in William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ Definition: A symbol is something that is itself as well as something else. In literature it means literal or objective sense coupled with abstract meaning. Symbolism refers to serious and extensive use of symbols in a work …

Lord of the FliesSymbolismWilliam Golding
Words 1891
Pages 8
Symbolism in English Literature

Archetypal figures present in Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale” By Jose Luis Guerrero Cervantes According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, an archetype is a symbolic formula that begins to work wherever there are no conscious ideas present. They are innate universal psychic dispositions that form the …

English LiteratureLiteratureSymbolism
Words 2379
Pages 10
Use of Symbolism in Cynthia Ozick’s the Shawl:

In The Shawl, Cynthia Ozick uses descriptive details to engage the reader. The story describes the horror of Nazism. The setting of the story is a concentration camp. The three main characters are Rosa, who was a mother of two daughters, Stella who was fourteen …

Words 433
Pages 2
The Grapes of Wrath- Symbolism Essay

Symbols are often used to represent bigger ideas and concepts in a novel. In The Grapes of Wrath, there are many symbols to represent the lives of not only the Jode family but the migrants as a whole. Steinbeck uses the symbols of the dust …

Words 606
Pages 3
Symbolism in the Road Not Taken, A Worn Path, and I Used to Live Here Once

2Symbolism in Literature Published by susansteppe, February 27, 2011 Symbolism in “The Road Not Taken”, “A Worn Path”, and “Used to Live Here Once”. When looking at the short story and poem it is impossible to see it all in a literal form. There is …

A Worn PathRoadRoad Not TakenSymbolism
Words 2960
Pages 12
The Meaning of Symbolism and Imagery in the Writings of Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston uses symbolism and imagery to capture emotions and guide the reader through the story through the eyes of the characters. In her short fiction story, The Gilded Six-Bits, Hurston entertains the emotional and visual senses of the reader by using several symbols …

ImagerySymbolismZora Neale Hurston
Words 1088
Pages 5
The Yellow Wallpaper Symbolism

The visuals and the symbolic imagery of the setting helps the readers connect with the characters more ND thus builds a connection through the entirety of the story. The opening of the setting directly correlates with the narrator’s thoughts and feelings. It is also one …

SymbolismYellow Wallpaper
Words 912
Pages 4
Color Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

Nick Caraway, the narrator, Is one of the few characters who does not exhale the major laws that the other characters do. He Is able to see what Is wrong In society, at the same time as what Is positive about people, and his viewpoints …

Words 3467
Pages 14
Goblin Market/Symbolism

Symbols in this poem vary from the use of fruits, the moon, flowers, sisterhood, money and water. Firstly, even though, the title of the poem: Goblin Market seems self-explanatory, as we can instantly assume that this poem is about a fruit-market which is run by …

Goblin MarketPoetrySymbolism
Words 688
Pages 3
Symbolism – My Antonia

Literary device – Symbolism Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities: symbolic meaning attributed to natural objects or facts. “There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields. If there was a road, …

My AntoniaSymbolism
Words 557
Pages 3
Symbolism of the Island

The Island Major Joe Ridge View High School English 1 Mrs. Walker December 17, 2012 There are many different symbols in the book Lord of the Flies. Some of the symbols represent peace and some represent war. Some of the characters themselves represent different symbols. …

Words 1364
Pages 6
Lord Of The Flies Symbolism Essay

‘Lord of the Flies’ is frequently read as the story of changing identities. The plot gives an opportunity to trace the process, in which several boys turn into savage beasts on an isolated island. These changes do not occur overnight, but are accompanied by a …

Lord of the FliesSymbolism
Words 1025
Pages 5
The Symbolism and Narration of Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds”

[caption id="attachment_358562" align="alignleft" width="223"] “Two Kinds” is a short story from the book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.[/caption] Amy Tan demonstrates a child’s struggle for identity in her story “Two Kinds”. This essay analyses the writing techniques Tan uses in order to express …

Words 1581
Pages 7
Story of an Hour: Symbolism

During Kate Chopin’s marriage she resided in Louisiana where the laws favored the husband in a type of patriarchal code. At the time women were subjected to a lesser role and the husband’s will was freely imposed upon their wives. In “The Story of an …

Words 1374
Pages 6
Symbolism to the Journey

Whether we are reading a poem or a short story, there is a story to be found within. The writer is able to capture readers with their use of rhythm, characterization, or a fairy tale setting, among many other things throughout their writing. It is …

Words 2868
Pages 12
Symbolism and Imagery

Choices, one would have to make a lot of these in his lifetime. While there are minor choices, there are major ones, either way, making a choice never come so easy. Making a choice is one of life’s most challenging hurdles each and every person …

Words 1187
Pages 5

Find extra essay topics on Essays on Symbolism by our writers.

A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.


in Piagetian theory, the cognitive ability to mentally represent objects that are not in sight. For example, a child playing with a toy can mentally picture and experience the toy even after it has been taken away and he or she can no longer see it.


The intersection symbol ( ) denotes the intersection of two set s. It is commonly used in mathematics and engineering. Given two sets A and B, the intersection of A and B, written A B, is the set C of all elements that are in both A and B. Sets A and B are denoted as circles (including their interiors).

Symbol alphabet

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