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 797 essays on Symbolism

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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 1963
Pages 8
Symbolism in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation”

Flannery O’Connor belongs to the school of writing called American Southern Gothic. Her fiction revolves around people from the South and the volatile relationships fermenting in their society. The significance of being a writer from the American South has something to do with the immediate …

Words 1750
Pages 7
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
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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
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 6
Symbolism in Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace

Hayley Hughes Professor Fowler English 1102 9 February 2013 Short Story Essay Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace” uses a diamond necklace to symbolize two different things. The first thing the necklace represents is that deceiving others will lead to one’s downfall. The necklace …

SymbolismThe Necklace
Words 1015
Pages 4
The Pedestrian Symbolism

Ray Bradbury’s The Pedestrian is a very symbolic story of a man, Leonard Mead who doesn’t except the utopian society that’s supported. Leonard Mead walks outside every night to get fresh air and just enjoy a relaxing walk. He has done this for over ten …

Words 563
Pages 3
Symbolism in the Road

In McCarthy’s book, The Road, McCarthy is able to illustrate not only the setting of the book, but feelings, expressions, and actions, by various literary devices. Although he brought into play several devices such as: imagery, tone, metaphors, and a couple of similes, the most …

Words 1058
Pages 4
Great Gatsby Color Symbolism

During the 1920’s, many people would disguise themselves through the identities of someone else. In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main characters can be seen “hiding” behind the symbolism of different colors. Color affects the mood, emphasizes the importance of …

Words 2392
Pages 9
Symbolism in the Red Convertible

October 1st, 2012 Symbolism in the Red Convertible In writing, authors use symbolism to relay a deeper meaning to what they actually write. This technique captures important elements and gives the reader an idea of the theme of the story without the author directly telling …

Words 1273
Pages 5
Symbolism and Religious Drama: T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral

In 1163, a quarrel began between the British King Henry II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The men had been good friends, but each felt that his interests should be of primary concern to the nation and that the other should acquiesce to …

Words 2607
Pages 10
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 6
Symbolism and Imagery in Lord of the Flies

Throughout everyday life people use certain symbols, or images, to relate their feelings and unconscious thoughts to something more tangible and concrete. To a young child, a special blanket might provide them with a sense of security and comfort; furthermore, said blanket may include the …

ImageryLord of the FliesSymbolism
Words 2615
Pages 10
Symbolism of the Title a Worn Path

The short story, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty describes a very interesting character whose name is Phoenix Jackson. She isn’t your average person. Phoenix is a very old and boring women but the story is still interesting. The title is very symbolic of the …

A Worn PathSymbolism
Words 3213
Pages 12
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
Characters of Zodiac Signs

What are zodiac signs? What do these signs represent? The zodiac is an annual cycle of twelve station or, (signs) along the ecliptic, path of the sun and across the heavens and recognized as the first known celestial coordinates system. Zodiac signs consist of twelve …

Words 963
Pages 4
Roman Fever Symbolism

Wharton’s “Roman Fever” In Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever,” the setting takes place in the romantic city of Rome, on the balcony of a casual Roman restaurant. Two wealthy American widows, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade, are sitting together carrying on a conversation from afternoon to …

Words 301
Pages 2
The First Instance of Weather Symbolism in Jane Eyre

ane Eyre the protagonist Jane is isolated in her own home, in which she is treated as an unwelcomed guest, and the author begins to illustrate and convey the feelings of entrapment and constraint to the reader in this passage, often done with symbolic representation …

Jane EyreSymbolismWeather
Words 1611
Pages 6
The Use of Symbolism in Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms is one of the greatest tragic love stories of the twentieth century. The novel which was written by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1929, and could possibly be one of the best novels that was been written about World War I. …

A Farewell to ArmsFarewellSymbolism
Words 113
Pages 1
The Man To Send Rain clouds Symbolism and Obscurity Essay

In her short story “The Man to Send Rainclouds” Leslie Silko writes about the burial of a dead native elder, stating that “he sat down to rest in the shade and never got up again” (Silko 1). Silko uses obscurity and symbolism to display her attitude …

Words 65
Pages 1
Importance of Symbolism in Timothy Findley’s War.

Young people often do not know what to expect of the future. They do not know how to act when something unexpected comes along, and their actions are based on what they do know; usually limited, biased information. This idea is central to the short …

Words 1374
Pages 5
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 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
Song Symbolism Essay

The song “Firework” by: Katy Perry has a lot of symbolism. With her beautiful voice, and to her amazing lyrics, people can really relate to what she is saying. From her lyrics in “Firework” I was able to pull out three lyrics that I think …

Words 484
Pages 2
Symbolism in Kiss of the Spiderwoman and No One Writes

“It’s a sin to take the food out of our mouths to give it to a rooster” (Garcia Marquez 31). This essay portrays the different types of symbolism throughout the novels Kiss of the Spiderwoman by Manuel Puig and No One Writes to the Colonel …

Words 1763
Pages 7
Doubt in To The Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Use of Symbolism and Tone

Virginia Woolf’s use of several literary devices, most especially tone and symbolism, can be seen in To The Lighthouse by dissecting important passages and analyzing how certain phrases connect with the work as a whole by enhancing the overall theme. The passage that Woolf best …

Words 1315
Pages 5
Symbolism in Janus

4 Jonathan Whidden English 1900B Ian McAdam September 29th,2012 Symbolism in Janus “The bowl was just a bowl”. (Beattie 455) In the short story “Janus” writer Anne Beattie uses a simple bowl to be the central focus of symbolism in the story. The bowl can …

Words 1434
Pages 6
Symbolism in a Seperate Peace

“A Separate Peace” Throughout the novel, many settings reveal characters and events that had great importance in the book. The tree, the Assembly Room and the White Marble Staircase revealed Finny’s accident, and how the characters reacted. At the tree, Phineas is shaken from the …

Words 888
Pages 4
Symbolism in the Chrysanthemums

Aliya Grayman Professor Gulliksen English 131 (D8) 24 October 2012 Your Inner Chrysanthemum How many people sit down and think about what symbolizes their lives? A symbol is a person place or thing that suggests something other than its literal meaning. In John Steinbeck’s “The …

Words 574
Pages 3
Symbolism in the Road Not Taken, A Worn Path, and I Used to Live Here Once

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 always some sort of symbolism that occurs within the …

A Worn PathRoadRoad Not TakenSymbolism
Words 2839
Pages 11
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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

  • Greek alphabet
  • Latin alphabet
  • Cyrillic script
  • Runes
  • English alphabet

Frequently asked questions

How do you use symbolism in an essay?
Symbolism can be used in a number of ways in an essay. To start with, symbols can be used to represent ideas or concepts in the text, making it easier for the reader to understand and engage with the argument. For instance, if you were discussing the idea of freedom in an essay, you could use the symbol of a bird to represent this. In addition, symbols can also be used to create a certain mood or atmosphere in the essay. For example, if you wanted to create a feeling of suspense, you could use symbols that represent darkness or danger. Finally, symbols can also be used to add depth and meaning to the essay, making it more than just a simple argument. For example, if you were discussing the idea of love, you could use the symbol of a rose to represent this.
How do you explain a symbolism?
There are many ways to explain symbolism. One way is to say that symbols are objects, ideas, or colors that represent something else. For example, a flag is a symbol of a country. A rose is a symbol of love. A cross is a symbol of Christianity.Another way to explain symbolism is to say that it is a way to communicate ideas without using words. For example, a picture of a rose might be used to communicate the idea of love, or a picture of a cross might be used to communicate the idea of Christianity. Symbols can also be used to communicate ideas that are difficult to express in words. For example, a symbol of a broken heart might be used to communicate the idea of pain, or a symbol of a dragon might be used to communicate the idea of power.
What is a symbolism paragraph?
A symbolism paragraph is a paragraph in which the writer uses symbols to represent ideas or objects. The symbols can be literal, such as a character representing an idea, or they can be abstract, such as a color representing an emotion. In a symbolism paragraph, the writer must explain the meaning of the symbols and how they relate to the larger idea or object.
What are 5 examples of symbolism?
1. A rose may symbolize love, appreciation, or even farewell.2. A flag may symbolize patriotism, or even specific nationalities or regions.3. A cross may symbolize Christianity, or even sacrifice.4. A Star of David may symbolize Judaism, or even protection.5. A crescent moon may symbolize Islam, or even new beginnings.

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