Many novels have used symbolism to express certain feelings and emotions in discreet ways. What is symbolism? "The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships" (Dictionary.com). Numerous authors use the same denotations to illustrate different thoughts or ideas. Mark Twain uses various symbols, such as the river and the land to expose freedom and trouble in his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Poets have often used symbols to convey deeper messages that they were either too afraid or felt that normal language lacked the power to express. Often when a symbol is used, the reader digs deeper into the issue more than if the message was simply shot out in the open. These symbols and metaphors can be used to portray beautiful things, or could be used to create a more compelling argument in a more subtle way.
The revelation or the abyss of the hero’s journey can be described in the Odyssey as Odysseus going to the underworld known as Hades. Odysseus went there because Circe instructed him to do so. It was there Tiresias, which is a blind prophet tells Odysseus that he will return home. He also tells him he will reunite with his wife and take command of his kingdom from suitors. He then instructs Odysseus that he need to take a trip to a faraway land to appease the god Poseidon. After revealing this prophecy he warns Odysseus not to touch the flocks of the sun when he arrives in Thrinacia. If he does he will encounter much more hardship and suffering and he will also lose more members of his crew
The Odyssey was full of symbolism. Many people and events have a deeper meanings behind them. Through both parts of the novel we see many things that may mean more that they appear as. There is a lot of symbolism in the Odyssey and we see some in Odysseus’s bow, the cattle of Helios, Argus, Penelope’s Shroud, and Odysseus and Penelope’s bed.
What do symbols illustrate in novels? In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, symbols are illustrated through people, objects, and colors. In this novel, a group of children are faced with the difficulty of living isolated from society after their plane crashes on a deserted island. With no formal civilization, parents, or rules, the kids have the freedom to do as they choose. Throughout the novel, the boys find and use objects on the island that symbolize something of different importance. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses different objects to symbolize the difference between civilization and savagery.
Water. It expresses its’ power in the form of hurricanes and flash floods. It displays its gentleness, washing dirt off a child's scabbed knee. Water has been used to quench the thirst of many longing throats; and it has been the cause of death to those who unfavorably crossed its path. It possesses the power of total destruction, yet it holds the bases of all life. Generally, water has symbolized cleanliness and renewal. In the Bible, water was used in Baptism, cleansing the soul of original sin and offering a new life in the light of God. Water in itself is a natural purifier, washing the dirt from our bodies. Water is a symbol of
He uses each conflict that Odysseus must resolve during his voyage to signify each emotional phase the hero also experiences. For example, at the beginning of Odysseus’ journey, Homer describes Calypso’s island to be filled with beauty, but surrounded by deadly waves of the sea (Homer 451). The beauty of the island symbolizes the bravery that Odysseus still has, and his perseverance during the many years he has been held prisoner. The deadly waves symbolize the emotional disarray he is in at the time, for he misses his home and family. The abundance of waves outnumbers the volume of beauty, and can be interpreted as Odysseus being more sorrowful than brave. But alas, he finally sets out to return to Ithaca. In addition, he eventually ends up in the cave of Polyphemus; the inside is dark, but the outside is filled with nice farmland (Homer 459). The darkness of the symbolizes death, despair, and imprisonment since Odysseus feels these after four of his comrades are brutally killed and eaten by the cyclops. The farmland outside the cave represents life and freedom since farming produces necessities for life and for Odysseus to reach the outside again is for him to be free and embrace life once more. The darkness of the cave is within the life of the farmland, symbolizing how Odysseus really cherishes his life and the opportunity to return home, but he still feels deep inside the death and despair of his late comrades. Eventually, he returns home to Ithaca. Furthermore, after restoring order to his kingdom, he goes to visit his father Laertes in his wide, open vineyard in the countryside (Homer 484). The wide openness of the vineyard represents the freedom that Odysseus finally achieves and genuinely feels after his long journey to return home. Also, vineyards produce life, which
Rivers provide life in the most desolate of places. They bring the frigid, sky-fallen rain from the frozen mountain lakes to the sunbathed ocean, and give life and sustenance to every ecosystem and civilization on their path. However, in Bless Me, Ultima, the river is a symbol for the experience of life, more than just breathing and moving. Antonio’s river is his life, and it flows through his story just as his life does.
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, is a story about love and war. Frederic Henry, a young American, works as an ambulance driver for the Italian army in World War I. He falls tragically in love with a beautiful English nurse, Miss Catherine Barkley. This tragedy is reflected by water. Throughout the novel Ernest Hemingway uses water as metaphors. Rivers are used as symbols of rebirth and escape and rain as tragedy and disaster, which show how water plays an important role in the story.
Many authors use symbolism to help their readers grasp the concepts they are trying to convey. They take concrete items or ideas to represent something abstract.
At the start of my journalistic investigation I stumbled upon a 2010 documentary by the explorer Wes Skiles titled Water’s Journey. The short film is available online free of charge and follows a scientific team of four as they traverse the Florida aquifer in real time. The goal of their mission was to explore and extensively map the inside of the Florida Aquifer for the first time. The four individuals on this groundbreaking mission included Tom Morris, a cave explorer and biologist, Jill Heinerth, a technical dive specialist, the Wes Skiles, and electromagnetics expert Brian Pease. Pease designed a revolutionary transmitter that was able to send signals through Florida’s solid rock and water below, which allowed for him and Skiles on the surface to actively track Morris and Heinerth as they explored the depths below.
When Cyclops set a curse on Odysseus, it set the course for the rest of the story. Cyclops asked his father, Poseidon, to make Odysseus’s journey home long and torturous, because Odysseus put out the Cyclops’s eye. The Cyclops prayed to his father, Poseidon, “He shall see his roof again among his family in his father land, far be that day, and dark the years between. Let him lose all companions, and return under strange sail to bitter days at home.” For the next six chapters, Odysseus fights the elements, losses all of the men in his company, and returns home to witness scores of suitors eating his food, living in his home, and attempting to marry his wife. The
The sea is the biggest archetype found in the Odyssey; it represents a man’s life, and this is used to show how pride brings destruction. “[Athena] I am anxious about him, poor fellow, kept from his friends… in that island covered with trees, and nothing but the waves all round it, in the very middle of the sea!” (Homer p.g. 12); the waves represent the struggles found on the life of a person, in this case Odysseus, problems caused by his pride after letting his companions “outrageously [kill the cattle of Helios]” (Homer p.g. 146), thinking himself superior than the gods by allowing his companions to defy a direct order of a god, Helios. ”Then I [Odysseus] went away along the island in order to pray to the gods, if any of them might show me some course to sail on” (Homer p.g. 135), after praying to the gods, Odysseus gets a clear course to follow on the sea, after the gods clear the sea of waves, which are a representation of a man’s problems, showing once again how honoring the gods takes away any misfortune brought by
Symbolism is when the author uses an object or reference to add deeper meaning to a story. There are hundreds of different symbols authors and poets use and even more ways for them to use each symbol. If you think about it anything really can be a symbol if the author wants it to be. There are some basic things to know about symbolism such as that the night often represents death and the morning usually represents the start of life, another big one to remember is that usually a storm is meaning that there is a conflict. There can be things as Broad as the sky or things as small as a cell used as a symbol. They enhance the theme, ideas, or characters in a story to make it interesting or help prove a point or