A literary symbol is one thing that stands for another. It can be an object, action, creature, or even a word used to evoke the idea of something else. Symbols are not concrete representations of any one concept or idea. They are designed to represent a collection of thoughts and emotions attached to them either by society or the context in which they are used. The author does not spell out the exact meaning of a symbol, rather it is hinted at and presented to the reader for final interpretation.