Welcome to Symbolism Saturday! For anyone new to Symbolism Saturday, this is a bi-monthly Saturday special that I originally started sharing on Instagram and Twitter. In these posts, I highlight an example of symbolism in pop culture in a bite-sized exploration. Today, we’re taking a look at a symbol from the TV adaptation of American Gods.
What is Symbolism, You Ask?
In a nutshell, symbolism is a literary device where the author of a creative work (like books, video games, and cartoons) uses an object (like a bird, necklace, color, or, occasionally, person) to represent a complex or abstract feeling or idea (like peace, loneliness, death, or, occasionally, a person). If you want to know more, I have a post taking an in-depth look at symbolism and Over the Garden Wall.
Sewing the Seeds
In the second episode, cryptic god Wednesday works on setting things in motion for whatever his ultimate plan is. His plan includes continued attempts to coerce Shadow Moon into working for him.
After making some seemingly key advances with Shadow Moon, Wednesday blows the seeds from a dandelion puff. These seeds fly toward an ominous looking storm, and seem electrified with magic or power. There’s a great deal of visual emphasis placed on them even though nothing is said about them by any of the characters, and it seems like only Wednesday is aware of them at all.
These seeds symbolize Wednesday sewing the seeds of his plan (given the nature of this show, it’s hard to say whether this is just a great example of a literary symbol, or something magical that will have real repercussions later on). When he blows these seeds out into the world, it signifies that the progress he just made with Shadow Moon lays the groundwork for his plan to be set in motion.
If you enjoyed this Symbolism Saturday post, be sure to stop by for a new one every other Saturday. Do you have a favorite example of symbolism in pop culture? Be sure to share it in the comments! You can also connect on Twitter at @Popliterary, or send a message on the “contact me” page.
And as always, if you have a literary device you want to know more about, or a game, comic, show, or movie that you want to see make an appearance on the blog, leave a shout-out in the comments!