Symbolism
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A slideshow for introducing students to symbolism. Credit to Lfissel for several of the slides.

A slideshow for introducing students to symbolism. Credit to Lfissel for several of the slides.

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Symbolism Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Symbolism Meanings beyond the obvious
  • 2. A symbol is…
    • an object that stands for itself and a greater idea .
    • We see symbols every day…
  • 3.
    • PART 1: HOW MANY SYMBOLS CAN YOU ASSOCIATE WITH UNIVERSAL , ABSTRACT IDEAS OR VALUES??
    • HINT: Don’t limit yourselves to objects, think also about shapes and colors or just parts of a picture
  • 4. In literature, symbolism…
    • creates a direct, meaningful link between…
    • a specific object, scene, character, or action
    • and
    • abstract ideas, values, persons or ways of life.
  • 5. Symbolism is be used to…
    • Provide meaning beyond the obvious:
      • Emphasize key ideas or themes:
    A river can represent the flow of life… … or its depth may represent the unknown… … the water might be purity… … or there could be dangers beneath the surface.
  • 6.
      • Draw attention to the plot:
    A walk into a tunnel – or change from day to night – could show movement from good to evil, or that something bad is coming… A storm at a critical moment can represent the intense emotion and trouble… And dawn may show the end of conflict, the “start of a new day.”
  • 7.
      • And give insights into characters:
    In Poe’s “Telltale Heart,” the sound of the beating heart represents the man’s guilt… … a character’s name may tell you something about them, in “The Lottery” Mr. Graves has authority over the killing… … and a character’s appearance can be symbolic – in Cask of Amontillado, Fortunato wears a fool’s costume – and he is, in fact, a fool for trusting the narrator.
  • 8. How can you spot a symbol?
    • There’s no one way, but some things to look for are:
      • Colors or objects that are used repeatedly: if it’s mentioned often, it’s probably important
      • Unusual character names
      • Objects / creatures that have cultural meanings (lions = strength, owls = wisdom, etc.)
  • 9. One warning…
    • Many “symbols” are personal interpretations – and unintended by the author!
    • Consider this dialogue from Peanuts:
    Lucy: “ Do you always have the people’s hands behind their back to symbolize your shyness?” So… don’t go crazy with this stuff! It’s all open to interpretation… Charlie Brown: “ No, I just don’t know how to draw hands.”
  • 10. What do these images symbolize?
  • 11. And these…
  • 12. And these…
  • 13. The end. 