Guide to Literary Terms

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What distinguishes the terms "a metaphor for" and "a symbol of"? Are they differentiated by repetition within a story, like in Lorrie Moore's short story involving a hot stone massage and a failing marriage?

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Your analysis is correct.  Also, keep in mind that a metaphor can also be an abstract comparison, something not easily connected until perhaps the end of a work.  Symbols are usually much more concrete. 

A symbol does not have to be repeated throughout a work to meet the definition of the term,but authors often do repeat symbols to stress their importance to the reader. A more skilled writer might rely upon motifs rather than simple symbols, because they like metaphors are usually more abstract, and an adept writer will use the motif to represent several different elements.

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I concur.  A metaphor, as you know, is an unstated comparison between two unlike things or ideas.  While image, metaphor, and symbol sometimes shade into each other and are sometimes difficult to distinguish, in general a symbol means what it is and more (as you state), functioning both literally and figuratively at the same time.  However, a metaphor means simply other than what it is.

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