Difference in between Imagery and Symbolism

Imagery and also Symbolism space two that the most usual literary devices used by authors. Imagery describes the use of figurative and descriptive language to develop images in the readers’ mind. Symbolism describes the use of signs to represent ideas and qualities. This is the main difference in between imagery and symbolism.

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What is Imagery

In literature, imagery refers to an author’s usage of vivid and also descriptive language to add depth come his writing. Imagery permits the readers to produce visual representations of ideas in the readers’ minds. It additionally helps the reader to know a literary work-related better.

As a literature device, imagery must appeal to every our senses. Over there are 5 main types of imaginary. Castle are,

Visual Imagery: appeals come our feeling of sight.

His brown skin hung in strips Like old wallpaper, And its sample of darker brown Was prefer wallpaper: Shapes like full-blown roses Stained and also lost v age” – Elizabeth Bishop’s The Fish

Auditory Imagery: appeals come our sense of hearing.

“And full-grown lambs loud bleat native hilly bourn;Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble softThe redbreast whistles indigenous a garden-croft,And collection swallows twitter in the skies.” – man Keats’s Ode to Autumn

Olfactory Imagery: appeals to our feeling of smell.

“In the period of which we speak, over there reigned in the urban a stench proper conceivable come us modern men and also women. The roads stank of manure, the courtyards the urine, the stairwells stank that moldering wood and rat droppings, the kitchens that spoiled cabbage and also mutton fat; the unaired parlors stank that stale dust…”– Perfume: The Story that a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

Gustatory Imagery: appeals come our feeling of taste.

“Those secret tastes, beat in the past by oranges and also rhubarb, damaged out into an irrepressible urge when she began to weep. She went back to eat earth.”One century of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Tactile Imagery: appeals to our feeling of touch.

“Especially in winter as soon as the bed

Might just too be ice and also the apparel snow.” – Robert Frost’s The Witch of Coos


What is Symbolism

Symbolism describes the attribution of particular ideas and qualities to objects and also concepts. This attributed definition is always vastly various from the original an interpretation of the object. Therefore, symbolism gives an object a symbolic definition that is various from its literal meaning sense. A price is such things that represents grander qualities and also ideas. Because that example, the red climbed is universally embraced as a price of love. However this idea of love is not inherent to a red rose. Neither, it is the literal definition examples. Some more examples of icons include,

Dove is symbolic that peace

Rain is symbolic the cleansing or sadness

Darkness is symbolic the evil

Symbolism, together a literature device, is offered to signify abstract features using characters, backgrounds, objects, or setting. Given listed below are some instance of symbolism in literature.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the scarlet letter chin (the letter A) is a symbol of adultery.

In Shakespear’s Macbeth, the consistent reference come blood have the right to be taken as a symbol of violence and also guilt.

 In Joseph Conrad’s love of Darkness, the darkness symbolizes the evil.


Apple is a price of temptation.

Difference in between Imagery and also Symbolism


Imagery refers to the usage of vivid and descriptive language to include depth to the writing.

Symbolism refers to the imbuement the objects v a certain meaning that is different from their original definition or function.


Imagery creates mental images in the readers’ mind.

Symbolism means a hidden an interpretation in words.


Imagery appeals to the 5 senses.

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Symbolism appeals to the intellect.


Image Courtesy:

Ruins the Kenilworth castle by Tilliebean – very own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 

Venus Verticordia by By Dante Gabriel Rossetti – “4” “2″ day, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia