Let us remember that a symbol is any object, action or character that stands for both itself and for something larger, such as an abstract concept or emotion. If we have a look at the beginning of this novel, we can see that there are plenty of symbols that we can see. Firstly, consider the egg cups that William wins at the fair and then gives to his mother. The egg cups are clearly a symbol of William's love and affection for his mother, and they show the very close bond that lies between these two characters.
In the same way, when her husband returns from the bar later on that day, the gingerbread he has brought for the children is a symbol of his love for his family, although he struggles to express it through his actions and words so often. Hopefully these two symbols will give you an idea of how to find more in this compelling novel. So, my advice is, having read this response, go back over the novel and see if you can identify any more symbols. Good luck!