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  1. 1. Symbol and Allegory
  2. 2. Symbols <ul><li>One way of thinking about symbols is that they are usually objects in a story or poem that represent abstract concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract concepts include non-tangible feelings or traits like love, honor, fear, or courage. The symbols add depth to the work. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Common Symbols <ul><li>Think about symbols involved just with traditional American weddings. Each item represents something: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White dress=purity/femininity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ring=eternal circle as eternal love. Reflects status as “taken” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gold (in ring)=does not rust or tarnish & is malleable. This signifies the hope for a healthy relationship. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unity candle=the joining of the two people. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>**clearly other cultures have their own traditions and symbols. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Common Literary Symbols <ul><li>Water (submersion into)=a sort of baptismal rebirth or renewal. </li></ul><ul><li>Gardens: fertility </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s hair (traditionally) = femininity </li></ul><ul><li>Butterflies: metamorphosis and/or significant growth </li></ul><ul><li>Birds (owls=wisdom, dove=peace, hawk=predator) </li></ul><ul><li>Colors (red=passion or anger, green=envy, yellow=happiness or sickness) </li></ul><ul><li>Short Assignment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go to http://www.umich.edu/%7Eumfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click “R” to find out what rope symbolizes. Email me your answer. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Symbols are not limited to objects… <ul><li>Names: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Friend from “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been” is sort of a backwards symbol; this character is NOT a friend to the protagonist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sammy might be seen as symbolizing the youth/adolescence of the character in “A&P” (why not call him Sam?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Setting or weather </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clouds=ill omen, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fog=inability to see, confusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rain=renewal or fertility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forest=the unknown, the unconscious mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Towns=civilization, society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paths=what is known, familiar, right </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Allegory <ul><li>Allegories are when a whole story , not just the objects in it, become symbolic of another story. The story can be read literally as one thing and then as a whole other thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Another way of saying this is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a story, if all the symbols seem to be “pointing at the same concept” then the story might be allegorical. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For example, many people believe that The Wizard of Oz is not just about a gal named Dorothy who experiences a magical journey with fantastical characters. It has been proposed that the story is really a political allegory. The characters and setting in the story each represents political hopes and views of the era in which it was written. I’ve included an essay about this allegory in the resources section of D2L, and I would like you to skim through it to better understand the concept of allegory before you are asked to discuss it yourself. </li></ul>
  7. 7. A Simple Example <ul><li>When my 1101 students logged into D2L at the beginning of the term, they saw this announcement on the home page (it was under a picture of a red tour bus): </li></ul><ul><li>“ This hybrid section of 1101 is an exciting new approach to learning the academic writing skills necessary for future courses and for the workplace. Your first tasks on this journey are to get familiar with the course site and to meet your fellow travelers.” </li></ul><ul><li>When students went to the first unit in the content area, they were greeted with another picture (this time of a suitcase with a airline tag attached) and a header “Taking Off!” The message that followed read: </li></ul><ul><li>“ As with any journey, you must first pack your bags and check in!” and they were given directions for checking-in (how to find the syllabus, how to meet the other travelers via discussion boards, etc). </li></ul><ul><li>I was using the allegory of travel to welcome the students (mostly new freshmen) to the “journey” of taking a hybrid course. For all of them, this was a new adventure (no hybrid courses have been offered at MSCTC prior to this). In short, I used the allegory of travel (bags, buses, checking-in, co-travelers) to structure the material of the course and to represent the “journey” they would embark on by taking the course. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Popular Allegories <ul><ul><li>Animal Farm by Orson Wells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (see Wikipedia summary to help you understand the structure of allegory using this story as an example). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Matrix movies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Star War Movies </li></ul></ul>