Symbolism Thesaurus: Unity

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:

A stand of trees
Animals crowding together in a storm
Animal herds
A pack hunting prey
Bird migrations
Animal migrations
Duck formations
Flocks grouping on the water (seagulls, geese, etc)
Schools of fish
Hornet's nest
Ecosystems
Ant or termite hills
Tadpole schools
Wolf howls
Cricket song
The horizon
Aboriginal tribes
A spider's web
A pod of dolphins
A herd protecting the group's young
A lattice of Vines
Stems/trunks growing together/twisting around each other to strengthen
A wall of black cloud
Rain deluge
Impassible jungle
Mountain range
Streams converging
Bee swarm

In Society:

Marriage
Family
Church/religion
Charitable organizations
Political parties
Human chain
People standing shoulder to shoulder
Protests
A list of signatures
Scientific community
Rallies, gatherings, BBQ, parties
Country, province, state flags
United Nations
Team Colors
Peace symbol
The wheel
Circles
Causes (Aids, Cancer research, run for the cure, etc)
Corporation/place of business
A mother or father holding her/his children's hands
Goal-focused classes (learning yoga, fitness, university students striving for the same degree, Ticket or accreditation)
Professional organizations
Neighborhood/Community
Education
A city or town
A province or state
A seven-point star
Yin-yang
Chain links
Woven fabric
The round table
Paper doll chain
A complete puzzle
Groups/clubs with common beliefs, ideas, interests
A row of books on a shelf
A display cabinet featuring like-objects
Cheering crowds, team supporters, fans
A harbour of sailing boats

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Unity. Some are more powerful than others. A human chain is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, the howls of a pack of wolves may not foreshadow unity on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

13 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Wow. You keep pulling them out of your hat, Angela. Excellent!

Julie Musil said...

Seriously, I don't know how you do it. Excellent post.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Unity. I love it. How do you think of these?? My students (girls especially) will love this.

Chuck said...

Well here I am fresh from Clarissa Draper's blog! She pointed in this direction with a captivating post honoring your Thesaurus-filled side bar. Very cool stuff...I'm a follower!

Clarissa Draper said...

Thanks for allowing me to showcase your blog. It's a wonderful blog.

CD

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi Angela, I clicked over from Clarissa's blog. Wow! I will definitely be back.

Thanks! ~that rebel, Olivia

N. R. Williams said...

Hi, I found you through Clarissa and will visit often. Great blog.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Shannon said...

As always, very useful. Some of these symbolism thesaurus entries would probably also be very useful for people designing signs from gods and symbols of religion in fantasy worlds. A God of Unity might incorporate some of these elements in manifestations and religious events.

Erica M. Chapman said...

Very cool. This is a great one!!

Elisabeth said...

And then there is enmeshment, more a merger, a symbiosis than a unity.

To be united we need also to be separate.

Thanks for a thought provoking post, Angela. I'm new to your blog, via Clarissa Draper, and always in search of good writing.

Alexandra Crocodile said...

I found you via Clarissa Draper, and I'm very glad she told me about your blog, because this is fabulous!

Robyn Campbell said...

You are amazing, my friend. I love to visit with you. I have your blog at the ready all the time. Bookmarked,minimized, etc.. :)

Clara said...

I LOVED this! I'm recomending this website on my blog, immediatelly!

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