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Symbolism and Subtext: Making Meaning for Readers

The best ‘good stories’ have a meaning/symbolism to them, most people agree; however, some stories out there impress that too hard, some stories don’t ‘require’ you to search for any subtext, and some stories’ meanings/symbolism you only realize later. How far should one go to impress meaning/symbolism, how much should be impressed, and can/should a story be…just a story?

  • I really like this topic, and its a question I definitely have dealt with and wondered about before. Could you maybe add a few examples to it? Other than that I think its great. – Null 5 years ago
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  • Agree with the above comment. Interesting topic! Perhaps you can expand and use examples of writing already on this topic? Just to create a framework. – sophiacatherine 5 years ago
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  • I think something interesting to look at in terms of this topic might be the intention of the writer. Are the symbols/underlying meanings intended or subconscious? – MichelleAjodah 5 years ago
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  • How would you define symbolism? Merely as a literary device? A kind of sign (a la semiotics)? Or something more mystical? I have great interest in the prevalence of symbols and would actually recommend looking into the various ways symbols are understood theoretical, as metaphors, arbitrary signs or powerful avenues to the unconscious/spiritual mind. Check out Mircea Eliade's book The Sacred and the Profane for an analysis into how our ancestors looked at the matter. – cosmindzs 5 years ago
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