Conventional symbol  A symbol is a person, object, image, word, or event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than its literal significance. A conventional symbol has meanings that are widely recognized by a society or culture, such as the Christian cross, the Star of David, a swastika, or a nation's flag. Writers use conventional symbols to reinforce meanings. Kate Chopin, for example, emphasizes the spring setting in "The Story of an Hour" as a way of suggesting the renewed sense of life that Mrs. Mallard feels when she thinks herself free from her husband. (See also, symbol)

The definitions in this glossary were adapted from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Sixth Edition, by Michael Meyer