Symbolism Entry: Health

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:
Redwoods
Big, leafy trees
Fruit-bearing trees
Lush green grass
Mineral springs
Running water
Rain
Fruits and vegetables
Organic foods
Whole foods
Fresh air

In Society:
Long life
Pink cheeks
Ideal body weight
Sparkling eyes
Smooth skin
White teeth
Strength
Youth
Chubby babies
Fertility
Yoga/exercise
A treadmill
An apple a day
Doctors
Caduceus (see picture)
A stethoscope
Vitamins
A heart
A pedometer
Bottled water
Vegetarians/Vegans

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with health. Some are more powerful than others. Fruits and vegetables are strong symbols, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a heart could stand for a number of different things and not foreshadow health on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

8 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Nice...I feel healthy just reading this!

Angela Ackerman said...

Great Job, Becca!

Angela

Bluestocking said...

Already I can feel the first blush of spring reading this post!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I like the idea of Redwoods as a symbol of health. Never in a million years would I have thought of that. :-)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Just have to tell you - I was filling out a worksheet yesterday for my WIP (a first for me actually because I don't outline, I'm a total pantser, but was having trouble with this one) Anyway, it asked "How can you foreshadow this?" And all I could think of was your blog, and these entries! My mind is now organized in lists that look a lot like these thesaurus entries... LOL

Becca Puglisi said...

This was a fun one to write--no worries about what weird pictures might come up when I researched :).

Lisa, I'm so glad these are helpful. I wish my mind was organized like our thesaurus entries, lol.

Matthew Rush said...

Ooh, I like this one. Kind of different from the usual.

Laura Pauling said...

Great, as usual. And now I'm going to go back and reread your post on over expressed emotions! :)

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