Types of Symbolism in Literature

Symbolism in literature is a method for giving things a deeper meaning and a distinctive quality by using a symbol. Symbols enrich the conversation, give sentences complexity, and give the ideas we debate more life by ingraining them subconsciously into our speech. Writers can employ a variety of literary strategies to aid in the usage of symbolism in their works:

Types of Symbolism in Literature


Metaphor is a sort of figurative language that illustrates a subject’s qualities by contrasting them with, comparing them to, or comparing them to something else. He clarifies the intricate and challenging rules of nature, such as human death, by drawing this straightforward parallel.


An allegory is a literary device that aids in the use of symbolism. It is comparable to a metaphor in that it reflects the importance of the thing rather than just an outward similarity. The novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is a wonderful illustration of allegory in literature.

There, he makes a comparison between his environment and a group of kids struggling to live after being stranded on an island due to an aircraft disaster. Each child, via his or her position and persona, represents a certain social defect, highlighting the shortcomings of individuals in institutions like politics, religion, morality, and many others.


Another literary device used to depict a human behavioral pattern that is often global in nature and applicable to and understandable in many cultures is the archetype. The archetype can also represent a location in space and time or a particular subject that all people throughout the world share.

Folk art and fairy tales are two sources of many literary motifs. The hero is one of the most prevalent and well-known archetypes. Among the traits that make someone a hero are their enigmatic birth circumstances, fight to win over those who doubted them, sad events that occurred throughout their life, and difficult and perilous journeys.

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