parallel vs symbol : Common Errors in English

About parallel vs symbol

Beginning literature students often write sentences like this: “He usesthe rose as a parallel for her beauty” when they mean “a symbol of herbeauty.” If you are taking a literature class, it’s good to master thedistinctions between several related terms relating to symbolism. Aneagle clutching a bundle of arrows and an olive branch is a symbol ofthe US government in war and peace.Students often misuse the word “analogy” in the same way. An analogy hasto be specifically spelled out by the writer, not simply referred to:“My mother’s attempts to find her keys in the morning were like earlyexpeditions to the South Pole: prolonged and mostly futile.”A metaphor is a kind of symbolism common in literature. When Shakespearewrites “That time of year thou mayst in me behold/When yellow leaves, ornone, or few, do hang/Upon those boughs which shake against the cold” heis comparing his aging self to a tree in late autumn, perhaps evenspecifically suggesting that he is going bald by referring to the treeshedding its leaves. This autumnal tree is a metaphor for the humanaging process.A simile resembles a metaphor except that “like” or “as” or somethingsimilar is used to make the comparison explicitly. Byron admires adark-haired woman by saying of her, “She walks in beauty, like thenight/Of cloudless climes and starry skies.” Her darkness is said to belike that of the night.An allegory is a symbolic narrative in which characters may stand forabstract ideas, and the story conveys a philosophy. Allegories are nolonger popular, but the most commonly read one in school is Dante’sDivine Comedy in which the poet Virgil is a symbol for human wisdom,Dante’s beloved Beatrice is a symbol of divine grace, and the whole poemtries to teach the reader how to avoid damnation. Aslan in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia tales is an allegorical figure meant to symbolize Christ: dyingto save others and rising again (aslan is Turkish for “lion”).

parallel Meaning(s)

  • (n) something having the property of being analogous to something else
  • (n) an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
  • (n) (mathematics) one of a set of parallel geometric figures (parallel lines or planes)
  • (v) be parallel to
  • (v) make or place parallel to something
  • (v) duplicate or match
  • (a) being everywhere equidistant and not intersecting
  • (s) of or relating to the simultaneous performance of multiple operations

symbol Meaning(s)

  • (n) an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance
  • (n) something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible

parallel in News

  1. Cook's Corner: Divine Chicken Divan

    Q: At least 30 years ago, there was a wonderful restaurant parallel to the West Side Highway in Greenwich Village in New York City. It was called Inca and they served Chicken Divan over asparagus.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The St. Augustine Record

  2. A parallel universe? Reno outpaces Las Vegas in gaming revenue

    LAS VEGAS --Remember the original “Star Trek” television series episode titled “Mirror, Mirror,” in which members of the Enterprise crew were transported to a parallel universe with an alternate reality?
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Rolling Good Times

  3. Parallel Path Ranks as a Top 25 Fastest Growing Company According to Boulder County Business Report

    With revenues exceeding $2 million, Parallel Path is No. 23 on the 2013 BCBR Mercury 100. (PRWeb June 10, 2013) Read the full story at
    on June 10, 2013 Source: PRWeb

symbol in News

  1. #Bostonstrong Pride Is Driving Prices For Bruins Stanley Cup Tickets To New Records

    Teams are often a symbol of their city's character. After one of the worst tragedies in Boston history, The Bruins unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Finals seems to be a reflection the city?s unyielding will to overcome, and advance. The run has produced a wellspring of city pride that has also driven ticket prices way up compared to the Bruins last Stanley Cup visit in 2011.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Forbes

  2. Clean Enviro Tech (OTCBB: CETC / Berlin & Stuttgart: A1KB22, ISIN: US18452C1080, SYMBOL: S03A) Enters Into Licensing ...

    LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Jun 12, 2013) - Clean Enviro Tech ( OTCBB : CETC ) ( BERLIN : A1KB22 ) (ISIN: US18452C1080) (SYMBOL: S03A) ( ) ( ) an emerging leader in the development and marketing of next generation lithium-ion powered batteries worldwide and a leading developer of residential, Solar Concentrating, Electric Power Generation ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Marketwire

  3. University Mound, true diversity symbol

    University Mound, true diversity symbol [...] that is exactly what stands shrouded by cypress trees on obscure University Mound, the ranch-house home of the Convent of the Good Shepherd. "When I came here three years ago, I was struck by how cosmopolitan the city is," said Sister Barbara Beasley, community leader for the seven sisters who share meals and prayers under a dark pitched roof. The ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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