Writers use many literary devices to add layers of meaning to their writing. One way they do this is by using symbolism.
Symbolism is when writers use animals, elements, things, places, or colors to represent other things. The symbols they use are usually well known in literature or culture. When you understand the symbol being used, you connect its meaning to the story you are reading and understand the story on a deeper level.
Another way to understand symbolism is to think about how the media, movies, and television, and music videos use symbols to immediately make us think of or connect with other things. For example:
In westerns, who wears the white hat?
In westerns, who wears the black hat?
See you do know about symbols! Often colors are used represent various characteristics or emotions.
Writers use symbolic colors in their work in many ways. Sometimes color can be used to describe clothing of characters or in the setting of a story. If you are looking for them, these symbols tell you more about the characters and the story.
Colors are not the only things that are used as literary symbols. Often nature provides writers with symbols.
The elements that surround us are also well known symbols in literature.
Although there are many other symbols that writers use, one last set must be addressed: animals. States and countries choose animals to represent traits they want associated with them. Nursery rhymes and cartoons use animals as characters and those characters can often be interpreted symbolically.
Think about what you know about these animals and think what they might symbolize.