What Do The Symbols Mean?

This essay argues the true meaning behind symbolism in art from pre-civil war America all the way up to the time period of the civil rights movement. Through the understanding of the meaning in the different works of art of the these time periods artist were able to instill a greater understanding as how America was being shaped and the overall feeling of the country. After analyzing “Caps and Chains: Hiram Powers Statue of Liberty” by Jean Yellin, I was able to understand how to find and understand hidden symbols in works of art. After researching works of art from decades from pre-civil war America to the years of the civil rights movement in America I was able to understand how the works of art were capable of perceiving a sense of liberty in America. Using symbols such as chains, flags and overall actions of people you can get to an understanding of what the feeling was in the country at the time and how pride and liberty changed from decade to decade. Evaluating these images shows how America as whole has changed overtime and that the treatment of individuals such as African Americans and the sense of liberty has evolved(201)


6 thoughts on “What Do The Symbols Mean?”

  1. Symbolism is an interesting topic to write about, because so much of the interpretation of symbols is left up to the individual.

    How did you narrow down and select what pieces of art you would analyze?

  2. I think this topic is extremely interesting but extremely broad – so I have the same question, how did you chose your pieces? Was there specific criteria you were looking for, or did yo unmake categories?

  3. I also agree that this is very broad. However, its a great topic. Would you consider narrowing down the art you are looking at (not so spread out throughout the years)?

  4. What exactly is this “change” that you end with? I agree with the prior comments that the topic of hidden symbols and meanings is very compelling, but I think you really need to zero in on some details and your final claim of “change” in order to provide that satisfactory conclusion.

  5. I really like your idea and how you are going to go about making your argument and claim. However, is the time period you are using to big? Didn’t symbols vary from the large time period you are using?

  6. I think the fact that they do vary so much is interesting in its self and serves a great purpose in the essay. the fact they vary so greatly and affect the United states similarly is interesting to me.

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