8th grade ELA SYMBOLISM SYMBOL An action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality A letter, group of letters, character, or picture that is used instead of a word or group or words. Merriam-webster SYMBOLISM IN STORIES Symbolism: the use of symbols to represent ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense (meanings). In other words, a symbol is an object that stands for something bigger than itself! **For example, an author might use the image of the sun. Readers may infer deeper meanings from that image. (It could represent life, summer, warmth, hope, happiness). DEEPER MEANINGS A river: Rivers may represent the flow of life, a journey, danger, freedom, etc.. The depth of water could represent the unknown. SYMBOLS IN SURROUNDINGS A storm might occur during a heightened part of the story. Moving from day to night might represent the move from good to evil. CREATE YOUR OWN Take a few minutes in your notes to write down some modern day symbols and their meanings. Next, write down some symbols and their meanings from any of the literature we have read this year. SYMBOLISM IN THE OUTSIDERS Sunrise/Sunset These symbols will occur later on in the novel. What do they represent in The Outsiders? What do they represent in your own life? YOUR JOB AS A READER Pay attention to patterns in literature. If you see a recurring item, color, piece of setting, type of weather, etc., it probably holds a deeper meaning and therefore is symbolic. Mark those possible symbols in your text, and see if you can figure out what they might mean. Symbols may also mean different things to different readers. What you “get” out of a symbol may be different than what a classmate “gets” out of a symbol, and that’s okay!