Windows Symbolism & Meaning (Hope & Alternative Paths)

Windows symbolize hope, an escape, an alternative path, the unknown, and change.

Many films, books, artworks, and children’s stories feature windows. They are often motifs that describe what a character wants or what he is going to experience next. 

If you want to know what the symbolism of windows is, here you will find a summary of the common meanings of windows.

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

What do Windows Symbolize?

1. Windows Symbolize Hope

Windows often symbolize hope. In films, literature, or art, the audience sees a character looking through a window. The window symbolizes the possibility of a happier outcome. 

In the story ‘Rapunzel‘ the princess is a prisoner in a tower. From there, she looks through the window. In this case, the window symbolizes the hope of freedom.

2. Windows Symbolize An Alternative Path

Windows function as an alternative way into or out of a building. In this case, the character can be seen staring at a window. The window works as a motif of an alternative path that the character didn’t think of. 

There is a quote attributed to Julie Andrews that says “When one door closes, another window opens”. The door represents the only exit or opportunity that a person thought. The window represents an unexpected alternative.

3. Windows Symbolize Escape Or Desire To Escape

Windows offer an alternative way to exit a building. For that reason, they also symbolize escape. 

In the example of Rapunzel, she sees the world through her window, desiring to escape. But eventually, it’s that same window where she escaped. 

The window also represents a non-literal escape. In other words, maybe the character does not want to physically escape from a building. But instead, they want to escape from the banality of life or any other situation.

4. Windows Symbolize Fear

Houses usually represent a form of protection against the outer world. Someone afraid of what it’s outside may see the horror through the window. They feel secure in their homes, but vulnerable outside of them.

5. Windows Symbolize Opportunities

Windows are designed in a way that someone can open them or close them at will. As a result, they’re a great metaphor for opportunities.

You may open the window to welcome new possibilities or close it to keep out anything that you don’t want.

6. Windows Symbolize Illumination Of Darkness

Windows bring light to a room. For that reason, they are an excellent metaphor to represent internal illumination.

When someone does not know what to do or feels lost, it is like they are in darkness. Windows represent the light that comes to give clearance to those who are lost. 

7. Windows Symbolize Desire Or Longing

In the song “Band on the Run” by Wings, the lyrics are “Stuck inside these four walls / Sent inside forever / Never seeing no one / Nice again like you”.

In this context, the room acts as a cage. The person feels trapped or stuck in a particular situation.

In this sense, someone may look through the window desiring something else. The window offers the opportunity for that situation to appear. But also, it works as a portal to a different reality, e.g., to the past.

An individual may look through a window imagining a better future or a past they lost. They want something or someone to come into their lives.

The Meaning of Windows in Dreams

A window allows light to enter the room, allowing us to see more clearly. As a result, a dream involving a window indicates that you will achieve your future ideas and dreams. 

It’s a spiritual sign that tells you that If you gather enough strength, you will be able to notice obstacles and overcome them.

It will be worthwhile in the end, so make the move. If you overlook opportunities in your life because they are difficult, you may never achieve your goals.

Symbolism of Windows in Film

Windows have several metaphorical meanings. Directors take advantage of this by including windows in their movies to represent escape, longing, or desire.

Windows appear widely in literature and film. They have different meanings depending on the context.

In most cases, windows represent an alternative path, escape, and hope. The characters appear in different scenes looking through a window.

Windows sometimes represent longing or desire for something else or maybe welcoming new opportunities.

In some scenes in fiction, the windows represent vulnerability.

Since windows are usually made of glass, they allow neighbors or other people to see what a character is doing.

Sometimes, they can even access the building through that window. This is often seen in horror movies.

Windows also serve as a portal to a different world. In films and literature, it’s very important to establish a transition between the previous world and the new world the character is entering.

In Alice in Wonderland, she goes through a rabbit hole. In Cat Returns, the main character goes through a window.

Read More – What Do Rabbits Represent?

Symbolism of Windows in Literature

Authors ranging from Emily Bronte to contemporary authors such as Stephen King and Dan Brown used the symbols of windows.

They use them to symbolically portray the psychological concerns of central characters in their stories.

Many commentators interpreted windows in Emily Bronte’s gothic novel Wuthering Heights (1847) to symbolically represent spiritual entrance and escape.

The window also serves as a barrier between the spectator and the world on the other side, despite its transparency.

Symbolism of Windows in Art

Painters also use windows widely in their artworks. They depict people looking through windows, with many of the common meanings mentioned in this article. Artists also use windows as a source of light. 

In many artworks, such as “Woman at the Window” by Caspar David Friedrich there is a character that looks through a window.

This is an example of how windows are motifs that represent longing and desire. The character looks through the window as If they were expecting something better to come. 

This is also the case in “Looking out the Window” by Peter Vilhelm Illsted.

Windows in art also create contrast between two sceneries. For instance, the artist may choose to depict a dark room, but they add a window to show a sunny day or a red sky.

They allow the viewer to see two different worlds in the same painting.

Spiritual Meaning Of Windows

Windows represent a step into the unknown, which also includes spiritual realms and higher dimensions. In other words, windows symbolize the connection with the divine.

Windows also have deep spiritual symbolism. 

Windows are also a source of light, which is a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment. When a soul is lost, or undergoing a period of darkness, somewhere, a light appears to illuminate them.

How to Interpret Spiritual Symbolism

Interpreting symbolism and spiritual meanings is subjective and deeply personal. The symbolic meanings listed in this article are examples of potential interpretations, but might not be true for your situation.

Make sure you meditate and journal about your vision. Reflect on what you saw and think about what message you think is relevant to you and your life right now.

This doesn’t mean choosing the message you want to hear, but the one you think you need to hear at this point in your life. Only you can decide which meaning is the right one for your situation.

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Conclusion

Windows appear widely in art, literature, and film, with different meanings depending on the context.

We are frequently drawn to the bright, warm light that pours through windows as a symbol of health, progress, and the fortitude to evolve as humans.

We may also be afraid of the light that the windows let in since it may figuratively illuminate the darkness in the soul’s darkest depths. 

In any case, the symbolism of windows offers a vision into one’s deepest thoughts or ambitions.

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