Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Wealth

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer's advantage by planting symbols in the reader's path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character's state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character's emotional plight?

In Nature:

Lakes
Rivers
Large herds of cattle
Lush crops
Ranches
Fossils
Gemstones/ores/precious minerals
Mines
Vineyard
Oil wells

*Not all of these are 'true nature', but they would be seen in a more rural setting vs a populated area so I included them here

In Society:

Banks
Mansions
Private groups and societies
Charity galas
Limousines
Yachts
Monarchy/royalty
Churches
Travel brochures to exotic locals
Airports
First class setting
Jewelry stores
Antique stores
Car dealerships
Golf Courses
Country clubs
Wine
Spas
Champagne
Trendy bars, oyster bars, martini cars
High end clubs
Sports stadiums
Professional sports teams/players
Music concerts
Exclusive restaurants
Lawyers/law offices
Safes
Universities
Malls
Armoured cars
Merchandise locked behind glass
Fireworks
Resorts, Club Med, etc
Lottery tickets
Sweepstakes
Business men and women in power suits
Brand names (Prada, Macy's, Armani, etc)
Modeling agencies
Magazine spreads
High rises
Downtown monuments, icon landmarks
Jewelry
Well-tended nails
Expensive shoes or watches
Corner office
Casinos
VLTs
Leather products
Sports cars
Helicopters
Private jet

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Wealth. Some are more powerful than others. A show room of fine sports cars at a Bentley dealership is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a gold watch or manicured nails may not foreshadow wealth on their own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.
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12 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Excellent! I also see golden fields of wheat, rainbows (and the pot of gold at the end)as symbolic of wealth.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Brilliant as usual!

ralfast said...

Wealth is one of those things that varies widely between societies and eras.

For example, in Japan, wealth can be measured by how much space you actually own, since most people live in cramped apartments in and around cities. So empty space shows off how much actual wealth you have, since you can acquire and leave it as is which is something most people can't afford to do.

Also there is a difference between the new rich and the landed gentry or old wealth. The first will tend to go out of their way to show off their new found wealth with conspicuous consumption and display (gold, large home and expensive cars) while old wealth will be more subtle yet try to impress the age, the status and position that the wealth secures.

Angela said...

Thanks for the add, Bish!

*waves at Stina*

Ralfast, you are exactly right! Culture has a huge influence on displaying wealth, as does 'old money and new', 'youth vs maturity', etc. Thanks for posting--these are great points to keep in mind.

Deb Salisbury said...

Love this entry. I need to share, so I'm linking back to you. :-)

PJ Hoover said...

Love the symbolism entries! it's the small things like vineyard that make a difference.

Tahereh said...

this is so great!! SO HELPFUL for all writers!!

thanks for sharing!! :D

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

thanks for the follow :)

Kirsten Lesko said...

Your symbolism entries help me so much - symbolism is a weakness of mine & you help me get into the mind frame to dream up some of my own.

Thank you!

Erica Chapman said...

Very cool! I like these - you rule, Have a great weekend ;o)

Lisa and Laura said...

This is a wonderful reminder and the comments are fabulous as well. Thanks!

Julie Musil said...

Wow! What a great post. Thanks!

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