Erica Orloff has had a great conversation on her blog yesterday about symbolism, and today about symbolism and the collective unconscious.
Well worth a look-see!
The extent of my conscious crafting of symbolism in my own work has been the passing thought, "Oh, well ... that’s become a bit of a symbol now, hasn’t it?"
Other than that, I avoid it. I don’t know why. I’m a little afraid of making it forced or pretentious.
But am I leaving out a tool that should be in my toolbox? Would it make my stories stronger? While I do enjoy ’seeing’ the symbolism in other author’s works, I will admit that I don’t particularly pay attention to it. I don’t go searching for symbols. If I see them, I think, "Cool."
Does it enrich the story for me?
I don’t know. Maybe it does, in a subconscious, under-the-surface way. Above the surface, it only gets a "cool." It’s always fascinating to dissect and deconstruct a story, but the fact is, I don’t know that I’m writing anything that’s particularly prone to such study.
But even if they don’t deconstruct it, even if they don’t notice it, would symbolism enrich the story for my readers? What do you think? Should I be thinking more of symbolism? Do you?