Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Freedom

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:
The open sea
A horse
The wind
A bird in flight
An open field
Wide open spaces
Insects flitting from one flower to the next
Squirrels jumping from tree to tree


In Society:
An open prison cell
An open lock
An open door
Empty shackles or handcuffs
A broken chain
A key
An animal being released into the wild
A flag
A country's Independence Day/birthday
Your first car
Graduation Day
The open road
Motorcycles
A person walking away
Human rights
Dancing
Nakedness
Knowledge
Vacations

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with freedom. Some are more powerful than others. Empty shackles are a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a bird in flight could represent numerous things and may not foreshadow freedom on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

7 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

I've run out of clever things to say about these posts, but only because their level of awesome is that difficult to put into words!

Joanna St. James said...

This could also help title duds like me Title a WIP
thanks.

Heather said...

I love this one! What an excellent symbol to use in one's work. Thank you! I'm inspired now!

AubrieAnne said...

This is a neat idea. When I'm writing, I don't often think of symbolism, but this puts it into perspective. Sybolism doesn't have to be overly complicated.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

*sigh* Love this! :-)

Susan R. Mills said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

ralfast said...

Mirrors always work for me. A bit overused but a good fall back as objects are concern.

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