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Symbolism a Load of BS

Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Hey to all of you. I would like to know what you think of symbolism if you believe in it or not.

Definitions of Symbolism:
–noun 1. the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character.

2. a set or system of symbols.

3. symbolic meaning or character.

4. the principles and practice of symbolists in art or literature.

5. ( initial capital letter
) a movement of the late 19th century in french art and literature. Compare symbolist ( defs. 3b, 4b ) .

6. the use of any of certain special figures or marks of identification to signify a religious message or divine being, as the cross for Christ and the Christian faith.




Use symbolism in a Sentence


My Opinion: Its another one of them BS words, They say art is a big factor in Symbolism. Such as when leonardo painted the Mona Lisa they say she is the symbol of a lot but they could have made it all up. No one (except the person that really painted or made the symbol) knows what it actually symbolizes.
Picasso paints pretty abstract shapes and colors, They say his art symbolizes Love And all other emotions. Yet once again nobody except picasso knows what he is talking about. I could Paint 5 different colored lines on some paper and say it describe my hatred for racism, but when someone else sees it they could say they see my sorrow and my emotions in it. So to me symbolism really is just a bunch of bull crap.

Sorry if therre are any literature art lovers who believe it get offended. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Location
Cali For Nuh
Symbolism isn't just in art or literature, it's all around us.

Flying the Flag of your country, represents respect for thy country.
Your clothing you pick to wear on a daily basis, is a symbol a sign of something, a "look" you are choosing to wear. What that may be is up to you.

As for symbolism in literature, yeah I think it has significance, and yes that varies from person to person. Many people well tell you Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, represent the Christian battle, while I am christian, I fail to see the significance of the symbolism in that way. However give me an Edgar Allen Poe poem and I will rip the symbolism right out of it, discuss the social issues embedded within it, and find a plethora of things to talk about from one little point.

Symbolism is important. And its not just a load of BS. It can be a difficult concept to grasp and sometimes frustrating. Because it requires you know the context, a little bit of history, and overall knowledge of the world in order to make the connection many times. But its also a great way to get lessons and points across. Aesops fables may be another example of symbolism at work. When you think of the hard working ants, and the lazy grasshopper, etc. Those all symbolize morals and values that are important to our society.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
See i'm not being stubborn but I still fail to see the point You may say Edgar allen poe poems mean one thing and i could see a different thing...and as for the flag i get that one and thats about it the clothes that one didnt make alot of since to me...and i just still cannot see the meaning of symbolism.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Location
Cali For Nuh
I know you're only 15. But imagine going into a job interview. You wanna look your best, why? Because your clothes symbolize the employee they want you to be.

If you showed up in Baggy Jeans, a stained t-shirt, they would probably get the impression that you didn't care about the job, that you dont care about yourself, and that you don't take very much pride in anything related to life. Why? Because thats what your clothes symbolize, that is the sign its giving them.

A ironed button up shirt, slacks, dress shoes, etc, shows (symbolizes) that you are a professional, that you take pride in everything you do, including appearance.

Going to a typical school day, you dress a certain way, why? because in one way or another you have decided that that style symbolizes who you are, your values, your sense of style your humor, etc. It could be goth, it could be sarcasm, it could be jockish, preppy. I don't really care, what you choose to symbolize but the truth of the matter is, you do so every day.

As for your comment
You may say Edgar allen poe poems mean one thing and i could see a different thing...
First off, whats wrong with that? Secondly there are some things that are called "universal symbols" which mean that when it is said or used people know what it means. Like a callie lily means peace. Because of events in our culture, and history. We have established the meaning of that particular symbol. We know in ancient times Purple symbolized power. Why? because only the rich could afford the purple dye.

True there are some things that we may not come to the same conclusion on when it comes to symbolism, but what is wrong with that? If you can back it up using context and history, and culture. Then the symbolism derived from it is completely valid. As I said before LotR, and Chronicles of Narnia were like that from me. It went over my head. Even knowing the history behind the symbols I was unable to make the connection.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
No offense but as for the clothes thing and the job interview i can't tell you how many times ive had that lecture. I dont believe that if i show up in slacks and all the good clothes to be a tattoo artist therre gonna look at me and say why are you here and laugh. (no i dont wanna be a tattoo artist just an example) I am still not convinced Symbolism Makes no sense in my eyes and i have rights just like everyone and and as for me i think its a load of BS....I will agree on the thing about my school clothes though i wear a hoody and a shirt under it and a pair of shoes and pants and thats me....and the purple being a sign of power no the only reason middle class people couldnt afford it back then is cause the rich ppl wanted it all purple is a color and to me it represents a type of happiness far from power...and the flower most people say the rose is the flower of death i see it as the flower of a new beginning but thats me symbolism to me is just an opinion on the way you see things.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
But if you see symbolism in things you obviously believe in it, no?

You are right that symbolism is relative to the interpreter. Jo said she didn't see the Christian symbolism in Narnia, I do (really Jo, it's quite obvious. Aslan is Jesus. Go from there :P). You also I think brought up that there are sometimes practical reasons that lead to symbolism. There was a point where only the rich could afford silver spoons, hence the expression "born with a silver spoon in his mouth." Now even rich people don't really own silver spoons, but the phrase carries on despite not having significance in this time period.

I'm assuming things here, but humour me anyway. You're 15 and I'm guessing you are studying some sort of book in English Lit class (or similar). Most understanding of literature relates to the use of symbolism, and I know a lot of people become annoyed and start thinking "I bet the author didn't even intend half this crap." To an extent classic books are over-analysed, but you'd be surprised how much an artist thinks about the significance of symbolism in their work. According to wikipedia art is "the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect". That's as good a definition as I've ever heard.

More to the point whether you believe in symbolism or not, others do. Say I walk around America burning a US flag, people will think I am anti your country. Perhaps I just like setting flags on fire. As much as people fight against prejudiced the way you dress and the actions you take will be interpreted as representative of you as a person.

Another point: branding. You see the McDonalds M what do you think of? Fries and burgers maybe. Fast food. Grease. Branding is a very important use of symbols to convey an image. You see an advert for sofas, with a family sitting on one smiling and laughing. The connection advertisers wish to instil in your mind is obvious. In a way advertisers are artists with a purely financial agenda.

Also the flower of death is traditionally a lily, not a rose. People often buy them for funerals. Don't know where you've been getting your symbolism lessons from :P
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Im not in English This year so no im not studying books about it i just had the thought i dont really see the point in symbolism. Or any other word they may mean symbolism or symbols.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Why does it matter if i dont believe in what it supposedly means anyway, I understand what yall are saying but i just really dont see the point in it.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Location
Cali For Nuh
I believe I mentioned to you the importance and ergo point of symbolism. Here...

Baysiderulez said:
But its also a great way to get lessons and points across. Aesops fables may be another example of symbolism at work. When you think of the hard working ants, and the lazy grasshopper, etc. Those all symbolize morals and values that are important to our society.
We use symbolism to teach. Jden went on to tell you a point from a business prespective.
Jden said:
Another point: branding. You see the McDonalds M what do you think of? Fries and burgers maybe. Fast food. Grease. Branding is a very important use of symbols to convey an image. You see an advert for sofas, with a family sitting on one smiling and laughing. The connection advertisers wish to instil in your mind is obvious. In a way advertisers are artists with a purely financial agenda.
Now whether you agree with our point or not is your choice, but the point of symbolism is different depending on the field it is used in.

Literature/art - its usually to tackle a social issue
Business - To make more $$
Clothing - to get your point across

Perhaps in business is most PRACTICAL use of symbolism as it important to the success of the business. If people pictured rat meat every time they saw a McDonalds sign, they probably would stop patronizing their business and go elsewhere.

If you know your patrons then you know what symbols you can use to get what you want from them. Simple as that.
 

David

But you called me here...
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Location
Utah
Symbolism, as stated before, is all around us.

One example: Without symbolism, you wouldn't have money as we know it. The dollar bill is a symbol for a certain amount of currency that our Federal Reserve Board decides on. If symbolism didn't exist, it would be only a slip of paper.

I personally LOVE symbolism. I read literature all the time and find symbols everywhere. Recently, I've read Heart of Darkness, Hamlet, and a few other classics. There are so many symbols in literature.

You said that literature depends on what people say it does. That is technically true. Through people telling us what things represent, we become used to what those symbols mean. For example, the American flag. You grow up learning about how it stands for freedom, our country, and a bunch of other things. Now, every single time you see it, you remember what you were taught, and the meaning of that symbol becomes clear.

And since you're on a Zelda forum, why don't I bring up common symbolism in Zelda? The Master Sword, the Triforce, Princess Zelda, Link, Ganon, and Hyrule. After playing the game, you know exactly who they are, what they stand for, and how they affect the games and your appreciation. I'd talk about this more, but Random Person is better at discussing the symbolism in Zelda. He could probably tell you why its important to the series.

Back to real life. I absolutely love symbolism (as I said earlier). Its a wonderful thing and adds tons of meaning to many things. Without it, I don't know what we'd do.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
I never said I hated or didn't like it I just said I dont in now way. Believe in certain types of it and yes I know I didn't say types before but now that I see some of this I can say some of it makes since but I still don't believe in the literature and English stuff that still makes no sense and that's one of them you won't change my mind or view on so don't try unless you just want to waste finger energy on typing.

But I do thank yall for opening my eyes to the other types of symbolism....and I don't see the Christian side of narnia.
 

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