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Figurative Language

Symbol and Allegory in poetry

Amy Bishop

on 8 March 2011

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Transcript of Figurative Language

THE MOST BABIES THE MOST BABIES FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE Symbol EMAMPLIFY A Noiseless Patient Spider - Walt Whitman The Sick Rose - William Blake
Digging - Seamus Heaney To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time - Robert Herrick The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost It's a symbol? An object, picture, written word,
sound, or particular mark that
represents something else by
association, resemblance, or convention Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them, —ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,— seeking the spheres to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—, till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul. O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry. Image, metaphor, and symbol can be difficult to distinguish How to know (in general):
Image means only what it is,
Metaphor means something other than what it is,
Symbol means what it is and something more. Structuralism recap:
An image standing in as a symbol to mean something more.

EX: The image of the color red on a street light immediately tells us that we ought to stop.

The red is therefor a symbol for stop in this instance. What does the spider represent? Spider web? THEMES? Image - There's a dog rubbing a white picket fence.

Metaphor - Some dog stole my wallet!

Symbol - You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Symbols can be easily misconstrued and blown out of proportion and over interpreted AVOID Symbol Hunting.
Not everything is a symbol, and not every piece of work will have a symbol. Allegory It's an allegory? A narrative or description that has a second meaning beneath the surface.
The author’s major interest is the ultimate meaning. Also an extended metaphor and series of related symbols. Unlike an extended metaphor in that it involves a system of related comparison rather than one comparison drawn out. Differs from symbolism in that it puts less emphasis on the images for an ultimate meaning. In complex allegory the details may have more than one meaning. Allegory is less popular in modern literature. If it is used it is used to disguise meaning rather than reveal it. Bible story When Pharoah in the Bible has a dream in which seven fat kine are devoured by seven lean kine. EMAMPLIFY Everyman! Animal Farm - George Orwell Addresses the corruption of revolution by its leaders and also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of a Utopia. Communism is counter-revolutionary. Joseph interprets its allegorical meaning: that Egypt is to enjoy seven years of fruitfulness and prosperity followed by seven years of famine. Is a one-to-one correspondence between the details and single set of ulterior meanings archaic plural for cow What choice is being made? It is enough to see that there is a choice being made by choosing one of two paths. The speaker wants to travel both roads but he can only choose one path. No matter the outcome of the chosen path the speaker will always wonder what would have happened had he chosen the other. The Roads are a symbol. They are not a symbol of good and evil. The poem says that the roads are both alike. The choice is between two good things.
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