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Friday, August 27, 2021

Literary Terms - Allegory


Literary Terms,Allegory

Literary Terms - Allegory:

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An extended NARRATIVE in PROSE or VERSE in which CHARACTERS, events and SETTINGS represent abstract qualities and in which the writer intends a second meaning to be read beneath the surface story. The underlying meaning may be moral, religious, political, social, or satiric. The characters are often PERSONIFICATIONS of such abstractions as greed, envy, hope, charity, or fortitude.

Thus, allegory sustains interest on two levels: first, in the characters and actions described by the surface story; second, in the ideas symbolized by them. For example, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress allegorizes a Christian's journey from the City of Destruction (his conversion) to the Celestial City (his death and salvation). He carries a heavy bundle (his sins) on his back, he struggles with giants (doubts), and he is guided by a chart (his Bible). Other well-known allegories include Everyman (a MORALITY PLAY), Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King (CHIVALRIC ROMANCES), John Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel (a political SATIRE), and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (a social satire).

While allegory makes use of SYMBOLS, it differs from other fiction that suggests several levels of meaning in that everything PLOT, setting, characterization--is specifically structured to convey both a concrete surface story and abstract meanings that lie outside the narrative itself.


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