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Symbolism Examples

Symbolism is literary device that contains several layers of meaning, often concealed at first sight, and is representative of several other aspects, concepts or traits than those that are visible in the literal translation alone. Symbol is using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning.

Normally, the signs are material objects but they may also be written signs used to represent something invisible. It is believed that words, phrases or a description illustrate a deeper meaning than physical entities, so much that even language is a system of spoken and written symbols by which we communicate. Sometimes, however, an action, an event or a word spoken by someone may have a symbolic value. For instance, "smile" is a symbol of friendship. Similarly, the action of someone smiling at you may stand as a symbol of the feel of affection which that this person has for you. Symbolism has become an important part of daily life and communication as it is used to depict hidden emotions, feelings and expressions in the form of text, colors, signs, and phrases.

Common examples of symbolism throughout daily are as follows:

-Dove is a symbol of peace.

-The color black is a symbol that represents evil or death.

-A broken mirror may symbolize separation or even bad luck.

Symbolism gives the writer freedom to add double levels of meanings to his work: a literal one that is self-evident and the symbolic one whose meaning is far more profound than the literal one. The symbolism, therefore, gives universality to the characters and the themes of a piece of literature. Symbolism in literature evokes interest in readers as they find an opportunity to get an insight of the writer's mind on how he views the world and how he thinks of common objects and actions, having broader implications.
Skull.
Meaning: Mostly understood as a symbol of warning, the skull was often used by ancient cultures to ward off any type of evil influence or illness. It's philosophically viewed as the seat of intelligence, spirit and the spark of human life.
Tattoo
Lotus flower.
Meaning: The lotus flower symbolizes the ultimate perfection; its purity is not touched by the mud from which it originates.
Tattoo
Rose.
Meaning: The Rose in the West represents what the Lotus does in the East. A symbol of love, but especially of a love that is pure. Because of the rose's beauty, scent and shape, it is the ultimate floral symbol. Of all the flower tattoo designs, the rose is still the most popular and the most requested. Interestingly, the rose is nearly as popular with men as it is with women.
Tattoo
Dragon.
Meaning: The dragon is a powerful and auspicious traditional feng shui cure and an excellent feng shui symbol of strong yang / male energy. A pearl, or a crystal, in the feng shui dragon's claw symbolizes wealth, power and an abundance of opportunities.
Tattoo
Eye of Horus.
Eye of Horus.
Meaning: Symbolizes protection, royal power and good health.
Tattoo
Marigolds.
Marigolds.
Meaning: Marigolds are known as the "Herb of the Sun" and are symbolic of passion and creativity. The Welsh believed that if marigolds were not open early in the morning, then a storm was on the way. Marigolds have been used as love charms and incorporated into wedding garlands. Water made from marigolds was thought to induce psychic visions of fairies if rubbed on the eyelids. In some cultures, marigold flowers have been added to pillows to encourage prophetic or psychic dreams.
Flower
Tulips.
Tulips.
Meaning: Tulips are symbolic of fame and perfect love. The symbolic meanings also change with the color of the tulips. Red tulips mean "believe me" and are a declaration of true love. Variegated tulips mean "you have beautiful eyes." Yellow tulips mean "there's sunshine in your smile" and cheerful thoughts. Cream colored tulips mean "I will love you forever." White tulips symbolize heaven, newness and purity. Purple tulips symbolize royalty. Pink tulips mean affection and caring. Orange tulips mean energy, enthusiasm, desire, and passion.
Flower
Chrysanthemums.
Meaning: A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum's petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation. It's said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.
Flower
Lilies.
Meaning: While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue --and were the symbol of the Virgin Mary's purity and her role of Queen of the Angels-- as other varieties became popular, they brought with them additional meanings and symbolism as well. Peruvian lilies, or alstroemeria, represent friendship and devotion, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity. Symbolizing humility and devotion, lilies of the valley are the 2nd wedding anniversary flower. As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies also symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.
Flower
Violets.
Meaning: Violets are associated with violets is modesty, virtue, affection, watchfulness, faithfulness, love and let's take a chance on happiness.
Flower
Roses.
Roses.
Meaning: Long a symbol of love and passion, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddesses of love. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represent confidentiality. Each color offers a distinct meaning: red, the lover's rose, signifies enduring passion; white, humility and innocence; yellow, expressing friendship and joy; pink, gratitude, appreciation and admiration; orange, enthusiasm and desire; white lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.
Flower
Symbolism Meaning
Symbolism is the practice or art of using an object or a word to represent an abstract idea. An action, person, place, word, or object can all have a symbolic meaning. 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.
Symbolism Examples
In the cartoon above, a deflated hot air balloon represents the economy and George Bush is untying bags representing tax cuts to cause the balloon to rise.