What is a Symbolism?

What is Symbolism

It gives words, people, locations, or abstract ideas figurative meanings different from their literal sense.

For example, a chain can symbolize union and/or imprisonment.

Use Symbolism to...

  • Add emotional weight to your story
  • Convey complex themes
  • Connect central themes
  • Camouflage a dark meaning


  • In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the green light to symbolize Gatsby's materialism and unrealistic dreams.
  • In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s main character, Hester Prynne, is forced to wear the letter A, for adulteress, symbolizing sin and the loss of innocence.

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