Symbols and Motifs - Montgomery Township School District

Symbols and Motifs - Montgomery Township School District

Symbols and Motifs Meaning beyond the obvious A symbol is an object that stands for itself and a greater idea. We see symbols every day Symbols and Symbolism

A symbol is anything that hints at something else, usually something abstract, such as and idea or belief. A literary symbol is an object, a person, a situation, or an action that has a literal meaning in a story but suggests or represents other meanings beyond what is written. Symbolism as

Mood/Atmosphere When an author wants to suggest a certain mood or emotion, he can also use symbolism to hint at it, rather than just blatantly saying it. Example: Transition from day to night might = move from goodness to evil Example: A storm occurring when there is a conflict or high

emotions Symbolism in Literature Objects are often used as symbols. An object is meaningful symbolically only in the context of the literature. For instance, a chain can symbolize the coming together of two things or a sense of

imprisonment. Symbolism is used to 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. How can you spot a symbol? Theres no one way, but some things to look for are: Unusual character names Beneatha (in A Raisin in the

Sun) Objects / creatures that have cultural meanings (lions = strength, owls = wisdom, etc.) Symbols in The Pearl? The pearl = greed, success, destruction, hope, The scorpion = evil, destruction of innocence

Canoe = cultural tradition So, the next time you read a novel, watch out for whats not written in the words. P.S. What does a butterfly often symbolize?

Motifs A recurring image, word, phrase, or action that tends to create unity within a literary work. Sometimes the motif helps to create the theme in literature A motif differs from a theme in that it can be expressed as a single word or fragmentary phrase, while a theme usually must be expressed as a complete sentence

Motif Examples A recurring motif in George Orwell's "1984" is urban decay. Winston Smith's run-down home, London's crumbling buildings, and the overall disintigration of the city all support Orwell's theme of the miserable results of total government control.

Motif Examples Clothing Magical Objects Seasons Magical Powers Colors Deep Sleeps Death Wishes Supernatural

Trickery Adversaries Illness Consequences of Greed Animals Beautiful Princess Foolish Hero Wishes

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