Symbolic Animals

Write a story or a scene involving an animal that symbolizes something else. It can represent a concept, an experience, an emotion, a historical moment, or anything else you can think of.
Author:
Publish date:
 By A. Burnham Shute (Moby-Dick edition - C. H. Simonds Co) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By A. Burnham Shute (Moby-Dick edition - C. H. Simonds Co) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Herman Melville's nautical classic Moby Dick debuted in the US on November 14, 1851. As you may know, the story follows the adventures of a protagonist self-described as "Ishmael" as he sets out on the whaling ship Pequod with the obsessive Captain Ahab on a quest to exact revenge upon the albino sperm whale that bit off Ahab's leg. 

The whale in the story is rich with symbolism, and its meaning varies depending on the chapter and the character describing it. To Ahab, the whale is a manifestation of evil. To Ishmael, it suggests a threatening reversal of the concept of whiteness as purity. The whale also variously represents imperialism, racial inequality, masculinity, the limitations of human understanding, and an unknownable God.

The Prompt: Write a story or a scene involving an animal that symbolizes something else. It can represent a concept, an experience, an emotion, a historical moment, or anything else you can think of.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Image placeholder title
Flash Fiction Challenge

28 Writing Prompts for the 2021 Flash Fiction Challenge Challenge

Find all 28 poetry prompts for the 2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge Challenge in this post.

How to Not Write in the Pandemic, Early Days

How to Not Write in the Pandemic, Early Days

Novelist Rebecca Hardiman gives us an insight into the obstacles that cropped up for writers at the start of the 2020 global pandemic.

7 Tips for Writing Police Procedurals That Readers Love

7 Tips for Writing Police Procedurals That Readers Love

Mystery and crime novelist Russ Thomas explains how best to create a police procedural that will hook your reader and keep them coming back for more.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 560

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an alien poem.

3 Tips for Writing with a Co-Author

3 Tips for Writing with a Co-Author

Shakil Ahmad provides the top 3 things he learned while co-authoring the book Wild Sun with his brother Ehsan.

Viet Thanh Nguyen | The Committed | Writer's Digest Quote

WD Interview: Viet Thanh Nguyen on The Committed

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses the challenges of writing his second novel, The Committed, and why trusting readers can make for a more compelling narrative in this WD interview.

Dinty W. Moore: Poking Fun at Hell and Dante's Inferno

Dinty W. Moore: Poking Fun at Hell and Dante's Inferno

In this post, Dinty W. Moore shares what inspired his most recent book To Hell With It, what lesson it taught him, why writers should have fun with their writing, and more!

Arisa White: Putting the Pieces Together

Arisa White: Putting the Pieces Together

In this post, Arisa White shares how she was able to piece together her past with her present, how some works freed her to write, and more!