Allegory Literary Term
In literature, there are a number of various devices that writers can employ in order to capture symbolism. An allegory is a such a literary term, one in which characters or events come to symbolize a concept. Allegories convey a hidden meaning through symbolism.
One of the most famous allegories is Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," which appears in The Republic. In this famous passage, Socrates describes a society of people chain inside a cave, able to see only reflected shadows on the wall. These shadows are only reflections of reality, describing how the Philosopher saw human understanding of existence.
Examples of Allegory
Writing a research paper on an allegory is actually a very interesting way to study a literary theme.
Examples of allegories in literature are as follows:
- John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory about Christianity and salvation.
- A modern allegory is George Orwell's Animal Farm, which loosely tells the story of the Soviet Revolution through the use of farm animals.
Allegories, like Animal Farm, frequently are used in order to convey a moral or political message. They are often employed in order to convey an abstract term in a concrete way. Allegories can also be described as extended metaphors, in that they are employed throughout a work of literature, as opposed to used in passing.