While our very first response come fall could be think of harvests, colourful leaves, Thanksgiving and delicious pies, for a writer, thesymbolic definitions of fallare more profound—and useful—than you could think. Inour writing, a referral to a cold winter job or a beam of sunshine can suggest to more than its literal meaning.


Throughout history, cultures, science, and astrology have connected the periods to the person life cycle and also to nature’s affect on ours lives. This link is in our bones and it is universal. So writerscan useseasonal symbols to express, heighten, or even play against feelings and the pass of time and also age. And readers will certainly pick increase on those symbols and also their meaning.

You are watching: What does summer represent in literature

Think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’sThe an excellent Gatsby. At the start of the novel, that is spring. Nick Caraway is at ease through the wealthy human being he meets. Together summer progresses, the warm intensifies and also tensions begin to rise. As fall arrives, Gatsby dies and also Nick’s warm of feeling and also his desires wither.

What room the timeless symbolic meaningsof autumn?



Infall, the growing cycle gives us ripeness and also maturity. The harvest isassociated with abundance, prosperity and wealth. People too endure an“autumn”. If spring represents brand-new birth and childhood, and summer symbolizesyouth, autumn represents adulthood and maturity.

Girls ~ above Fireby Robin Wassermanis collection in damp, shadowy, late-autumn woods haunted by literal death that symbolizes the finish of girlhood.


Falling leaves symbolize readjust and also though they space brilliantin colour, we know what is shortly to follow—winter. Autumn brings a certainmelancholy. We must prepare for an end. Ours symbolic human autumn of maturitymust prepare because that the winter the old age and also death.

In Washington Irving’s The Legend that Sleepy Hollow. This story takes place throughout fall through the town experiencing grief over the death of Ichabod Crane and also as chilly autumn progresses, so execute their fears of death and also the Headless Horseman.

Preservation and also reconnection


With theapproach the winter, pets store food and create cozy hibernation spaces. Wepreserve the harvest and also retreat indoors. We stop wandering and also stay home. Wetend come look emotionally inwards too, reconnecting v ourselves and also thoseimportant come us. We think about the selections we have actually made, and the choices still open up tous.

Jacques Poulin’s book , fall Rounds, is a story of love that arrives in the fall of life. A man sees a marching tape from his Quebec City apartment window, and also motivated by his realization the life is slipping away makes a selection to sign up with them.


Because day and night are the same lengthon the autumn equinox, ancient cultures linked this day through the conceptof balance. Astrologically, the sun enters Libra, symbolized by a pair ofbalanced scales. Together we slow-moving down after ~ the company of summer, and with theharvest in, we take time come tap right into the balance within us.

In Octoberby Richard B. Wright, a male accompanies an old acquaintance top top a final, improbable journey trying to find answers in the fall of his life.

But itdoesn’t need to be all about sadness. Instead, we have the right to think of fatality (andultimate renewal) as a type of letting go. We have the right to look come our inner egos andpatterns of behavior and also let go of devastating attitudes. The idea that lettinggo also stresses the short-term nature of everything approximately us.

9ways to use periods as a composing device

Passage the time: pass seasonal setup details running in the lift of your story will assist the reader know how slowly or easily we are relocating through time.

Mood: Although all emotions take place in every seasons, we have tendency to affix spring v hope/renewal; summer through joy/exuberance; fall with melancholy/acceptance, and also winter with sadness/loneliness. Using images, metaphor or setup details that evoke the appropriate season because that the emotion, will certainly heighten the mood.

As the horse crossed the line, Jim’s hopes fell like whole tree of fall leaves.

An hour passed and also Mary go notshow. Adam change on the cold bench, wished he’d lugged a warmer sweater.

Image bybeate bachmannfromPixabay

Subversion: Playing against the four seasons we understand by having five seasons or only two will assist readers expropriate that your story is collection in one more world.

Plot device: a human body drowned in fall can only be discovered when winter ice melts. It provides the murderer time, however sets up a deadline because that tension.

Irony: a couple fall in love in the dead of winter and break up in the summer.

Upset expectation: a character decreases in spring and comes into their own in winter. This affirms the although human beings are part of nature, they space not necessarily enslaved through its patterns.


Motifs/themes for a character. Amy is a “spring” character: optimistic, always learning something new; cultivation constantly; costume in bright colours. Astrid is an “autumn” character: melancholy, always anticipating that something dark lies ahead; has red hair and wears a lot of brown.

Reveal emotions.In Beverly Cleary’sEmily’s Runaway Imagination, the story starts with spring and a emotion of welcome change. Almost exhilaration:

It seemed to Emily that it all beganone bright feather day, a day supposed for adventure. The weather to be so warm Mamahad let she take turn off her lengthy stockings and put top top her half socks for the firsttime due to the fact that last fall. Breezes on her knees after ~ a winter the stockings alwaysmade Emily feel as frisky as a spring lamb. The field that Emily can see native kitchen home window had turned blue v wild forget-me-nots and down in thepasture the trees, black silhouettes trimmed through abandoned bird neststhroughout the soggy winter, to be suddenly turning green.

Everywhere sap was rising, and also Emilyfelt together if the was climbing in her, too.


Steven king’s Different Seasons is a book made increase of four novellas. The stories themselves room not connected, but they every follow the symbolic definitions of the periods to form a cohesive whole:

Rita Hayworth and also Shawshank Redemption (Hope Springs Eternal)Apt Pupil (Summer that Corruption)The body (Fall from Innocence)The Breathing an approach (A Winter’s Tale)

TheDragonlanceChroniclestrilogy by Margaret WeisandTracy Hickman also follow the natural cycle that nature:

Book 1. Dragons of autumn Twilight. The protagonistsuniteand become mindful of the cultivation evil in the landBook2. Dragons the Winter Nighttheheroes room separated, andnot every escape unscathed.Book3.

See more: Why Does Fluorene Have A High Melting Point, Melting Points

Dragons of feather Dawning, the heroesreuniteand regain theBalance between great and Evil

How carry out you put the periods to work-related in her writing? allow us understand in the comment below.