Symbolism is not talked about in any circle of writing that I have seen. I think that because it is so difficult to do, may be the reason. The story of Dracula and the Wizard of OZ have symbolism in them from the beginning to the end.
The original story of Dracula is not about vampires and sucking blood. It’s a story about blood letting that went on in the 1800s. From what I read, in the 1932 movie Dracula with Bella Lugosi, the movie was made exactly the way the book was written. I didn’t read the book. Dracula himself represented a couple of things. His meticulous way of dressing in expensive clothing represented doctors at the time because Doctors back then wore expensive clothing. Dracula’s coffin represented the wooden boxes that cutting instruments came in. Wikipedia shill has photos of the cutting equipment that was used during that time. Of these things they used to bleed people were large wooden boxes that had several cutting blades that came out. Other cutting tools were small like the size of a dentists pick. They would be put into small boxes lined up against each other. Dracula’s teeth were symbolism of cutting. People in the movie who didn’t get their neck sucked represented people who didn’t get bled.
When the story of Dracula came out, people took to it because they understood the symbolism of the story. But then eventually blood letting stopped. As time went by, less and less people around who understood the story of Dracula. By 1970’s and 1980’s, most if not all people who understood the symbolism of Dracula was gone. When people would go to see the movie, they wouldn’t have any idea that those things they see in the movie are symbolic representations of things. To them its just face value.
The other Movie is the Wizard of OZ.
I bought a book a few months ago , called “ the wizard of OZ and philosophy / wicked wisdom of the west. By Randall E Auxier and Phillip S Sang
This book is interesting because they think that the witch is a symbolism of some woman who is married but they didn’t say who. They talk about how the scarecrow, the tin man, the lion , the wizard, the good witch, the munchkins are all symbolic representations of something. The authors keep going back to morals and virtue. The book is pretty heavy and heady. I suggest that you get the book if your interested.
Another story and movie is : Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
This story also has symbolism in it, not as much as Dracula and the Wizard of OZ. The symbolism in this story is about human behavior. The symbolism comes out when He is Mr. Hyde.
The thing about symbolism is that people think it’s a real mysterious thing to it. In reality is simple, yet tough to do. There has to be a matching of reality and symbols, but the symbols have to be so that people can identify what the symbols are saying. Symbolism is just like writing. Writing it’s self is a form of symbolism. We use different characters to convey a message. Yet in symbolism, its using things to represents something.
Symbolism use to be heavily soaked in society. In a book called “The embarrassment of rich’s by Simon Schama” the book is about the interpretation of Dutch culture during the golden age. The golden age is the late 1500s and the 1600s. This was a time period when the Dutch were extraordinarily wealthy, in comparison with the other countries on the continent. There was a lot of concern of all this wealth going around that it was going to corrupt morals and other things. So priests and other people stood up to the greed that was going on . One way they were standing up to this greed was using symbolism. During that period of time symbolism was big time. They used human characters to represent greed, thieves, corruption, foolishness and so forth. The big one was Queen money. Simon Schama said in the book that symbolism in drawings, but not in paintings, was real big between 1500s and the 1600s. But then in the late 1600s symbolism died and that pros writing took it‘s place. Then he went on to say that no one knew why it died out. It just did. What went on with the Dutch proves that symbolism at one time was soaked in society. But what went on with the Dutch was almost 200 years before Bram Stoker.
But one has to be careful with symbolism
No one can do what Bram Stoker did because they wouldn’t get away with it. Bram Stoker was literally taking on a whole industry, which couldn’t be done today. The reason why he got away with it was because no one was expecting it. But to day is much different. Hollywood was making certain types of movies, but it was angering the government. Eventually the government went into Hollywood and had them put a stop to these kind of movies that were about the Government. To this day Hollywood doesn’t make those kinds of movies any more. Even if a person was to make a movie in symbolism about any other group other than the , the story wouldn’t go far. Writing in symbolism is the same thing as writing in pro’s, either way one goes , it’s the same thing. It all depends what symbolism is used for. Does symbolism help a story, or hurt a story?
Symbolism isn’t easy
Symbolism is taking reality and turning it into symbolism. Bram Stoker spent 14 years alone to study vampires , not to mention studying other things in addition to that 14 years before he even began writing the story of Dracula. Dracula came out in 1897. Robert Louis Stevenson was the original author of “the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886. It became a movie in 1931. Who knows how long Stevenson was studying symbolism before he wrote that story. So just with Bram stoker, symbolism isn’t easy to do.
The use of symbolism
When reading stories , watching movies and television, symbolism will emerge at times. But some times it cant be realized. If a person was to say “ hey man, that’s cool.” a term that came out of the hippies 60s movement, then the word “ cool” is symbolism to mean something. Temperament, behavior, attitude or what ever, the word cool is symbolic of something. Yet, when we look at the word “cool “ we don’t look at it as symbolic , we look at it as a slang. Yet, the word cool is symbolism because it’s suppose to represent something.
Using symbolism is not easy. The author of the story has to do two things
1) They have to convert reality ( of what is being conveyed) into symbolism
2) They have to make sure that people can understand and relate to the symbolism and what it’s saying
Writing out a story, the writer needs to make sure what they write is understood by the reader, but someone using symbolism needs to make sure that the symbolism conveys to their audience what word convey. Bram stoker took 14 years just to study vampires, so this gives an idea of how hard symbolism is. Bram stoker, had it a little bit easier than other people because blood letting was deeply engrained into the psyche of the general public at the time he wrote the story. Even though it took him over 14 years to develop the story, he was able to convert reality into symbolism. The same with Stevenson
Not all symbolism is dark and heavy
Stoker and Stevenson both used symbolism for subjects that were very dark and heavy. But with the Wizard of OZ , it’s a completely different matter. The Wizard of OZ had symbolism for completely different things. In the story Scrooge, symbolism was used with the three ghosts. The symbolism used in the Wizard of OZ and the story Scrooge were for different reasons. Yet, with these four stories, it proves that symbolism can be used for a wide variety of things . Yet, symbolism is usually used to convey something heavy or serious things. Symbolism can also be used to say something that would normally take a long time to say or explain. Symbolism can also be used to convey something that is difficult to say or convey.
Symbolism is like writing.
Symbolism is like writing. They each have their benefits. Some times writing is the best way to go and sometimes symbolism is the best way to go, while other times a combination of the two. It depends on what is being conveyed that determines whether symbolism or writing should be used. Symbolism can be a tool to convey what one is trying to say , just like writing is a tool to convey what one is trying to say. Some times its better to use symbolism and other times it’s better to use writing.
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