Short Story Talks- Symbolism

Here is our video explaining our poetic device:  



  • We create a new and improved game of “Heads Up” called “Brains Up” , a game of guessing symbols and exercising your intellect.
  • One person chooses a card, and the other players will have to give hints to what the symbol is by giving examples of how it can be represented. For example: if given red, the other players could say “violence, war, passion”.
  • here are the cards that were created for the game: 4 colours, 4 objects, and 4 concepts


A butterfly will often not simply be just a butterfly, but one of the most common forms of poetic devices used bountifully. Symbolism is a device used by artists across multiple art forms such as written, performing, and fine art application by using a common object, a character, or aspect of the story to hold a deeper or abstract meaning; giving additional insight into the piece. Symbols such as specific colours to stimulate emotion, or off-putting aspects such as small details of characters appearance or mannerisms to contribute to the work’s theme and message.

One of the three subtypes of symbolism is personal symbolism: they are often hard to detect by the readers if placed by the author, or an individualistic message that a single reader can grasp from the text. There can also be objects, people, or events that can hold meaning for the characters inside the literary work as well. One of the most famous books, Harry Potter written by J.K. Rowling, was watching The Man Who Would Be King when she received a phone call that her mother had passed. When she later compared the Deathly Hallows symbol to the Masonic symbol in that movie, she had remarked that they appeared similar. She also stated that if not due to her mother’s passing, Harry Potter’s story would also contain less grief and loss; the impacts of her mother had affected her so greatly that it involuntarily entwined itself into her writing, and left personal symbolism as remembrance to her late mother.

Cultural symbols are able to be interpreted by multiple people; often a specific group that interpret their own unique meaning from an object, person, event, or concept. This does not necessarily mean that other cultures must have the same symbolic view on the same thing; a common contradiction between different cultures is the meaning of colour; red can mean either love and passion, or violence and war.

Universal symbolisms can be recognized across many people, no matter what religion, race, or culture. A common universal that is known throughout history and nations is a dove; representing freedom and peace. This symbol is widespread due to its appearance in the Bible and is often used during times of conflict across the warring countries.  


“warm chocolate soothes my senses”.

– As Anella has a dog; specifically, a chocolate lab, the word chocolate could imply the food, but also the safety and comfort of her animal companion. Maybe only a few of her close friends would understand this symbol.


“black umbrellas keep her grave dry, but not so the tears of those holding them “.

– black in Western culture is often associated with mourning. Death, and funerary procedures. The description of black adds an element of description to the environment and setting.


“Skulls littered the cave floor; whatever live here in this foul place must have an appetite”.

– As there is a literal description of the setting, the skulls are a universal symbol of death and misfortune, which foreshadows a dangerous situation.

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