Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Purity

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer’s advantage by planting symbols in the reader’s path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character’s state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character’s emotional plight?

In Nature:

A full moon
A crystal clear sky
Mountain-fed streams
A white rabbit…

In Society:

The church
The soul or spirit
The act of cleansing (bathing, showering, steam bath)
White underclothes (bra, panties)
Holy water…

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Purity. Some are more powerful than others. A flock of white doves is a strong symbol and likely will not require reinforcement. However, the clear, joyful ring of a child’s laughter may not foreshadow purity on its own. Let the story’s tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

Symbolism is a universal language that can add great depth and meaning to your story.

So you can reap the full benefit of this powerful tool, we’ve expanded the entire collection by 70% and integrated it into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry comes with a long list of ideas for symbols and motifs, and we’ve included popular symbolism examples from literature and movies, as well. These entries have also been cross-referenced for easy searchability across all our other thesauri. To see a free sample of the updated Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus along with our other collections, pop on over and register at One Stop.

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Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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5 Responses to Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Purity

  1. Dew–excellent as are the others. You came up with “purity in the round” with this post!

  2. Bish Denham says:

    Star light…I think star light could fit on this list. Which is beautiful by the way. It’s odd how a list of words can evote a mood.

  3. Karen Lange says:

    Love this! Thanks, as always, for sharing these goodies.
    Have a good weekend,

  4. Paul C says:

    As buds are bursting all around, this is a timely post. I am reminded of Dylan Thomas’ ‘Fern Hill’ in which he uses the colours green and white for purity and innocence as well as several other images you have listed.

  5. Danyelle says:

    Awesome! I hadn’t thought about some of these, like pearls for instance, but now that you mention them, they make a lot of sense. 😀 Great entry!

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