An allegory is synonymous with a symbol or a metaphor. It is a literary device in which characters, things or events represent something which is hidden or have some symbolic meaning.
Allegory vs. Symbolism
‘An allegory is different from symbolism.’
It is far different from symbolism because symbolism does not tell a complete story. Unlike symbolism, an allegory can be a story, poem, or a picture consists of characters and happenings to represent an abstract thought.
Allegory = A Story or a Poem (Narrative)
Symbolism = A Figure of Speech
Symbolism can be used to represent ideas or qualities. For example, a dove is a symbol of peace. In literature, you have read Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’. In this novel, darkness is used as a symbol of the evil.
Allegory, on the other hand, is narrative. It can be named as a highly symbolic story. The hidden meaning can be a moral, political, religious, or philosophical one. For instance, William Golding’s ‘The Lord of the Flies’ is one of the most famous examples of allegorical stories. You can find out political, psychological, and religious allegory within this particular novel.
Allegory as a Useful Tool for Writers
Writers take advantage of allegory because it can give freedom to writers to write whatever they want. Writers should be sharp and clever enough to get the intended meanings of the writers.
Writers can criticize through their allegorical narratives. It is one of the effective ways that writers use to convey their complex point of views.
An Allegory is an Extended Metaphor
In allegory, writers used to cover an idea through a sequence of symbolic meanings. The readers then get the writers’ intended meanings more deeply.
Check out the most famous allegories of all time that are listed below;
• Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’.
• John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’.
• George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
• Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’.
• Edmund Spencer’s ‘Faerie Queene’.
• Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’.
• Aesop’s Fables
• Dr. Seuss’ ‘Yertle the Turtle’.
• William Golding’s ‘The Lord of the Flies.’
• Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’.
It is concluded that allegories are different from symbolism. An allegory is an extended metaphor, which is narrative in nature. Writers use allegory as a tool to represent an abstract thought. The characters, things or events have some symbolic meanings in them that readers should interpret in order to get the writer’s intended meanings.