Let it be the number 3, the colour of someone’s clothing, or even the bird sitting on a windowsill writers have the habit of putting symbolism in their works.
To me, symbolism in literature is like an Easter egg in a video game. You read the story for the words, but there are a handful of those that read the story to hunt for the hidden meanings. Sometimes there are hidden meanings like number usage, colour, or species – but sometimes people find meaning in nothing at all.
I discovered this when I was asking a group of people to let me know which cover I should use for my upcoming book. They were only given the two cover designs and a brief synopsis of the book to go off of.
Within minutes my Facebook page became a word battle between the orange team and the white team (the colours my covers are in). I had flashbacks to the huge controversy on if it was a blue and black dress or white and gold.
It was during these heated debates that people started searching for the deeper meaning in the covers to prove why their side was the better choice. I firstly didn’t design the covers of my books, and the designer was given only limited information along with a lot of creative freedom to design what they wanted. Yet, somehow each team came up with brilliant connections to the book.
They gave me symbolism for the book I created… that I didn’t even considered had that level of meaning to it. They weren’t wrong… most were incredibly close to knowing the elements of the story from the cover…
It blew my mind… which led me to writing this post.
I didn’t give symbolism to the cover. I didn’t design the cover. Yet, they found so much meaning in the picture options.
I guess that is what being human is… always searching for meaning.
We look for meaning in our lives, in our relationships, in our activities. Even if it isn’t presently there, give us enough time and we’ll find something symbolic about it.