Universal Symbols in Stories
I come from an English literature background. I come from loving story. I love to analyze story, dissect story. I love all of it, I think it is amazing. So I look for symbols everywhere, much to the annoyance of my friends. I think it is so much fun to look at an object and figure out what else it could be, other than the object itself. So a universal symbol is when an object is also an idea. Now let me explain this. I'm saying universal, because I wanna focus in on symbols that people around the world could understand, no matter what your culture is. Generally speaking, now there will always be gaps, but as much as possible. So if you guys had to say, what is an umbrella used for? Go ahead and answer.
Shelter, yep. Protection and shelter, the two main things that an umbrella is used for. And that was easy, right? Like immediately, you were like, obviously, it's an umbrella. I mean, you guys live in Seattle. You know very well what an umbrella i...
s. An umbrella is not just an umbrella. It is also an idea. And in this case, the umbrella is providing shelter for this person, who is ironically in the ocean, so it doesn't matter. So there's a whole story going on based on the symbol as an idea in this image. Same with this one, we have candles again, in the shape of a crown, which can give you all sorts of ideas as to what this prop is. If it's not just a candle, what is the idea of a candle? Same with this one, where we have birds and a bird's nest on my head. So what is it a symbol of? And this could change, so let's actually answer this one. So what do you guys think? If you had to either say the bird or the nest, which one do you connect to first, bird or nest?
What is the bird a symbol of?
For me, freedom and flying.
Freedom and flying, totally. Now if we switch gears, so keep that mic, and I had to say, now, look at the nest. What is the nest a symbol of?
Piece of land.
So aren't those two very conflicting things, home versus flying away from home? And that's when you start to get into interesting symbols in an image, when you have these very conflicting ideas paired together. So we've got two symbols, opposite symbols from one another, and what could this image mean then based on those symbols? For me, maybe it means, for example, maybe you're a mother, and your children have left the home. Maybe for you, this is a symbol of, of your children leaving you. Maybe for you, if you are not a mother, if you don't have children, maybe you're like, wow, my brain didn't even go there because I'm not a mother. So maybe instead you're thinking of, maybe how you're weighed down by feeling stuck and you want to be able to fly. Lots and lots of stories that we can put into this image.