Definition of Symbol in Fiction Writing

Woman writing in journal on seaside of Italy.
••• Chris Hendrickson/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Definition: A symbol is a person, place, or thing comes to represent an abstract idea or concept -- it is anything that stands for something beyond itself.

Examples: The character of the madwoman in the attic in the novel "Jane Eyre" is identified in Jean Rhys's "Wide Sargasso Sea" as a symbol for women's hidden rage.