symbol


symbol

“A symbol is something that is itself and also stands for something else…In a literary sense a symbol combines a literal and sensuous quality with an abstract or suggestive aspect…Literary symbols are of two broad types: One includes those embodying universal suggestions of meaning, as flowing water suggests time and eternity, a voyage suggests life. Such symbols are used widely (and sometimes unconsciously) in literature. The other type of symbol acquires its suggestiveness not from qualities inherent in itself but from the way in which it is used in a given work. Thus, in Moby-Dick the voyage, the land the ocean are objects pregnant with meanings that seem almost independent of Melville’s use of them in his story; on the other hand, the white whale is invested with meaning—and differing meanings for different crew members—through the handling of materials in the novel” (Source: Harmon & Holman,  507).


All material on these pages is © as indicated by Mary Daniels Brown