Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Peace/Harmony

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:

Animals intermingling as they graze
Bird calls, trilling
Schools of fish
White Poppy
Olive branch
Olive tree
White Pine
American bald eagle
Phoenix (fantasy)
A quiet glade
An animal dozing in the sun
A private lagoon
Apple blossoms
Doves cooing
The sound of running water

In Society:

The color blue
Victory sign
Peace symbol
Children playing/learning
People working in harmony
Peaceful group marches and celebrations
Peace Pipe
Olive wreath
Hands clasped together
White flag
Soft music
Baby's breath
A sleeping child
Joined hands
Images of the planet
A smile, hug or other sign of goodwill
Happy face symbol
Open palms
John Lennon
The Beatles
Strumming a guitar and singing
Dali lama

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Peace. Some are more powerful than others. An olive branch is a powerful symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, the soft of soft music playing may not foreshadow peacefulness on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love your symbolism thesaurus, Angela. I'm definitely going to see in I can weave some symbolism into my new wip.

LeishaMaw said...

Thanks for the reminder on symbols. :)

Jessica Subject said...

Awesome, as always Angela! The Bookshelf Muse is my favorite resource when writing and revising. Thanks!

Matthew Rush said...

Aaah, I'm feeling a certain ... Zen.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Love it, as always! A few of my students used entries for angry and black this week - you rock, Angela! :-)

Jan Markley said...

Excellent post, as always, important to remember the role of symbolism in writing!

Jan Markley said...

Hi Angela: I passed on a 'blogger buddie' award to you for your awesome blog. Check it out on the latest post on my blog!

Janet Johnson said...

Great suggestion! I'd never thought about symbols, though I always love it when I find them in what I'm reading. Wow, I have a lot to learn. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Great list! I was thinking prayer and meditation before I even got to the end of the list and there they were.

Wendy Marcus said...

When I think of peace I always think of sitting on the beach, my eyes closed, listening to the waves roll in and the seagulls calling out. I wish I was there right now!

Angela Ackerman said...

Thanks everyine for the great comments. I decided to leave this one up a bit longer because of September 11th. I thought the world could use the good vibes. :)

Lynda Young said...

symbolism in writing is so often underrated. These are great examples.
W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey


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