I feel like I am barking up the wrong tree.
I totally hate symbolism in writing. That is, I hate hunting for it. When I write (and goodness knows, it's been a long time since I have) I never put much thought into using subtle changes in the weather to represent character emotions or the driving of a shovel into the soil to represent sexual frustration. Seriously! I think symbolism is placed by critics into novels afterwards. If anything symbolic is going on, it's because humans are habitual and so logical conclusions can be drawn from actions and events.
For example. I remember reading a paper over the summer where the author theorizes that Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby) got his surname because Fitzgerald wanted to make a subtle reference to the Gatling gun. I've got to admit, that's very, very clever of the critic who caught that.
Maybe subconsciously. But really, would he?
Maybe I'm just cranky because I'm lousy at finding subtexts and subtle things like that in literature.