Writing: Symbolism of Flowers

Adding Depth to Writing and Understanding

I am currently preparing to teach The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before I begin the unit, I spend some time going over the symbolism of flowers (and colors), since Fitzgerald beautifully threads this information through his novels. I tell my students that this will help them understand the literature with more depth. If you are a writer, why not go for that added layer of meaning?

Commence with the Wooing (fanning self) FLOWERS Symbolism

Then, I address the boys and say, “Gentlemen, take special care with this information. I am helping you woo women. Giving a girl flowers is one thing, choosing specific flowers and being able to tell your intended why–is priceless.” [insert girls giggling and sounds of agreement here]

Older Meanings Rock!

I have gathered the meanings and symbolism over the years and compiled them on this list. Most of the meanings listed are from older texts, especially from the Victorian Era, thus some of the meanings have changed in recent years (I blame the florists), but I stick with the older meanings.

Downloadable PDF: FLOWERS Symbolism