Water Symbolism in Literature: What Does Water Symbolize?

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Most often, water represents cleansing, life and freedom. Water is a contextual symbol in literature, however, meaning that it can symbolize many things depending on how it is used in a story or poem. Often, the particular meaning hinges on the type of water being used as a symbol. For example, rivers often represent the flow of life because they are constantly moving, following a distinct path.

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