Several credible sources agree that symbolism can be defined as something that has a personal connection, a connection to feelings which are able to be connected to a variety of people, a condensed idea, and a repetition that increases the recognition of the symbol. Symbols are integrated into everyone's life, but are there to be interpreted because not all symbols have a single meaning but are abstract in thought. The symbol is like a code; because of the in depth and condensed meaning one has to take certain steps to understand the symbol. Symbols have integrity, or a truth to them, because they allow the reader to find an inner meaning to a work and also apply the meaning to themselves. For example, when we think of the word "door", we think of the actual meaning. We see the door from our house growing up, or the door that we slammed during our teenage years, but as we look at the word door with the steps used to identify a symbol, we find that word can symbolize a barricade or maybe even a new pathway to a new beginning. Symbols are controlled by the messages they send and the context that it is surrounding them, and in involving the feeling that is emitted by the word, the symbol then can be seen as a word that stands for something else or more than one thing. .
Symbolic language links ideas, words or signs to meanings of theories that are represented in people lives. Symbols have manifold meanings because of different surroundings, associations, and context that all help to define what the symbol is. Since symbols have multiple meanings, this can be expanded to the separate experiences that are connected to the symbols. Literary symbols are seen throughout most novels, but are still hard to define or find because they mean more than what it is (Prinne 172). Sven Birkerts, author of "Literature", also acknowledges the abstract nature of the symbol and refers to symbols as having to "point outward" and so assisting in the addition of multiple meanings.