Allegory

By: Chad Houchin

Definition

The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic,or pictorial form.


  • Essentially an extended metaphor
  • Usually contain a moral or lesson

Function

  • Creates a greater level of meaning within a work of literature
  • Makes works multidimensional meaning that there are more meanings within the story than just the literal meaning that is written

Examples in Literature

Lord of the Flies

  • The island represents the world as a whole
  • Ralph's group of followers represent a democratic style government
  • Jack's followers represent an autocratic style government
Animal Farm

  • The pig led farm represents a form of communism found in the USSR led by Joseph Stalin
  • The rest of the animals are the working class and peasants
  • Boxer is the perfect representation of the working class in the USSR, unintelligent and yet religiously faithful to his ruthless form of government

Works Cited

"Allegory." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.


"Allegory." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2014.


Shmoop Editorial Team. "Allegory in Lord of the Flies." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.