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February 16, 2007

YAY, Now We Not Only Know What They Are, We Have a Method for Finding Them

Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (68-97) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Some signs of symbolic weight might be its repeated appearances, especially at key points in the narrative, such as the climax or the conclusion; its close connection with the fate of the protagonist; and its detailed description" (87).

Luckily, I am very familiar with most of the rhetorical strategies mentioned in this section thanks to my wonderful professors here at SHU, but I thought this passage was particularly useful. One thing I notice about symbolism is that someone learns about it or the idea of it is refreshed in their mind (and I am guilty as well) and then they go wild saying that every little thing in a work is a symbol for something and often it is stretching it - sometimes by a lot. So, I like how Hamilton gives us a few things to look for when trying ti identify something as a symbol. There are not very concrete guidelines for many things in Lit, but it is nice to have something to go off of.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 16, 2007 12:12 AM

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