what is symbolism? understanding symbolism in literature

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What is a symbol? A symbol keeps its own meaning while also standing for something else. Example – a flag stands for its country

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What is Symbolism? Understanding Symbolism in Literature What is a symbol? SYMBOL: a symbol stands for something else A concrete noun that represents an abstract noun. A symbol may be a person, place, thing, or action. It may also stand for an idea, belief, feeling, or attitude. What is a symbol? A symbol keeps its own meaning while also standing for something else. Example a flag stands for its country What Does The Picture Symbolize? Christianity What Does The Picture Symbolize? peace What Does The Picture Symbolize? love What Does The Picture Symbolize? marriage HOW DOES SYMBOLISM AFFECT READING COMPREHENSION? When you read, learn to recognize patterns. Patterns can show us hidden meanings in the text. When an author repeats something, its a big clue that it is essential to the meaning of the story. HOW DOES SYMBOLISM AFFECT READING COMPREHENSION? Symbols show what text cannot and guide you to a more complete understanding of the underlying point. How can you recognize a symbol in literature? First, read the story and repeat if needed to fully understand the plot. Distinguish between plot and theme. Plot is the sequence of events, and theme is the message the author is trying to convey. How can you recognize a symbol in literature? Second, summarize the plot in a single sentence. Based on your sentence, think about possible lessons (themes) you could learn from it. Look for a moral to the story. Jot down as many as you can think of. How can you recognize a symbol in literature? Third, scan the story again. Note any nouns that show up often. (tag them by highlighting, underlining, or noting down on a separate sheet of paper) How can you recognize a symbol in literature? Fourth, see if any of the nouns you have found have any obvious connotations. Can they represent something else? (for example, dark could be evil) How can you recognize a symbol in literature? Fifth, see if any of the words have a relationship to the themes you noted in step three. Can the words represent something that is not only essential to the plot, but to all human life? How can you recognize a symbol in literature? Finally, read the story again, mentally replacing your tagged words with the ideas or concepts you believe they could represent. Symbols and Theme When you read, look carefully for symbols. Ask yourself if any of the words have a broader meaning. Symbols can give you clues and help you understand themes in the stories you read. Practice Looking for Symbols Every Time You Read With practice, you will become skillful at identifying symbols in different texts.

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