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A metaphor is an example, or different way of explaining a concept, to better understand an the concept or idea. A symbol is more of a physical thing to look at to be used to represent a physical thing. --Knowitall222222222 (Jan. 20, 2009)

In metaphor the subject's meaning is altered by another subject.

The life cycle of a butterfly could be a metaphor for the career of a ballerina. Butterfly adds meaning to a portrayal of ballerina. Both ballerina and butterfly are taken to have significant meaning, and the author is showing how these separate concepts share aspects.

In symbol the object is used as a substitution for the subject. It has meaning in context only from it's association with the subject.

Symbols are used as substitution. A for the sound AAAH, the yellow bat sillouette for Batman, or a pipe for a father's authority. The objects A, yellow bat, and pipe have little inherent meaning, the author uses them (conciously or not) to reference the real subject

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12y ago
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14y ago

Symbolism is using something literal, often seemingly minor, in order to evoke a bigger and deeper meaning. For example, in the book To Kill A Mockingbird, mockingbirds are frequently mentioned- Scout's father, Aticus, tells Scout that she shouldn't ever kill a mockingbird because it is a beautiful creature that only aims to provide us with beautiful music, and mockingbirds don't do anything to harm us, so why not just let them be? The actual book is about prejudice towads African-Americans, and one can infer that the mockingbird represents the African-American in that it does no harm and in fact sings beautiful songs.

Imagery helps to create a more vivid image for the audience with the use of description and figurative language. For example, in John Updike's poem The Great Scarf of Birds, he refers to trees as "swinging vases full of sky." Instead of just saying trees, he enhances the image with what he images these trees as in order to send that message to the reader.

Both imagery and symbolism are techniques given to the reader to help him/her understand the speaker's message or image.

However, imagery and symbolism are two extremely different things, in that imagery relates to the five senses and gives the reader a detailed image, while symbolism is used to specify something broad into something specific to make it easier for the reader to get the speaker's message and add meaning to the piece.

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4mo ago

Symbols are objects, characters, or other elements in a story that represent or stand for broader concepts or ideas. Allusions are references to well-known people, events, or literature that the author expects the audience to be familiar with, creating a deeper layer of meaning in the text. Both symbols and allusions add richness and complexity to a work of literature.

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12y ago

Symbol: often an ordinary object, event, person, or animal to which extraordinary meaning is attached to.

Allusion: a reference to a well known work of art, music, history, or literature.

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13y ago

symbolism is identification and Illusion refers to image which is alike.

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11y ago

Allusion is an indirect mention of something; reference is direct/specific

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Q: What are symbols and allusions?
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