What Are the Different Types of Symbolism?

The different types of symbolism include similes, metaphors and personification. Symbols tend to take on a different meaning than what is clearly observed.

Symbolism types such as metaphors and similes often draw a comparison between one object with another. For instance, describing someone as being “strong as an ox,” helps to impress upon readers the strength of a person. Personification is a way to apply characteristics or attributes of humans to inanimate objects. In literature, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow refers to the windows in “Paul Revere’s Ride” as being able to gaze and think. In this instance, the personification of the windows helps to set an ominous tone.

Another type of symbolism is hyperbole. Hyperbole relies on exaggerations to help make a point. For instance, the expression “His brain is pea-sized” helps to make the point that the subject is dense.

Archetypes is a form of symbolism that is used to show representation of concepts that are held by everyone. There are different forms of archetypes including setting and situation. An example of situation archetype would be the battle between good and evil. The thought would be that good would triumph against bad. A setting archetype could include a reference to a garden. The garden would symbolize fertility in some works.