Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you have read any of the fairy tales in which animals represent characteristics found in people, you are familiar with allegory.  Also, a novel which is often categorized as allegory is William Golding's "Lord of the Flies."  As an allegory, Golding's novel, set on a tropical island away from the "evils of society"--a prevailing thought in his time--Golding explores through his characters, the inherent dark and evil side of man that emerges without the constraints of society or any other outside influence.

Rather than being fully developed personages, characters of an allegory are representative of ideas or qualities.  For example, in Golding's novel Piggy is representative of the rational side of man while Roger represents the evil, sadistic nature of man, and Simon stands for the intuitive, spiritual part of man.  Thus, the actions of these characters carry a significance beyond the mere narrative of the novel.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

eNotes defines allegory as:

an extended metaphor in which a person, abstract idea, or event stands for itself and for something else. It usually involves moral or spiritual concepts which are more significant than the actual narrative.

One of the most famous allegories is Orwell's Animal Farm, in which the animal revolution on the farm is an allegorical critique of the political situations of capitalism and communism.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An allegory can be about all kinds of things, as long as it tells a story and has a theme or moral point which is instructive to readers.  That means you can be very literal and name your characters for their character traits (like Peace represents the quality of peace, and War depicts the quality of war), or you can be more subtle and simply create a clear symbolic story and characters.  Good luck!

teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is also an allegory, one that represents the journey that we take in life to discover the meaning that it has for each of us.

somnath9 | Student

Midnight's Children is thought to be the best national allegory. How can I justify this statement?

kpb | Student

what literary term is used in this paragraph by the chorus in the drama medea? May Hermes, the God of travelers, Go with you on your way home, Aaegeus, and bring you safely home! And may you find the thing you have been seeking For so long; you seem to be a generous man.

and what literary term is used in this paragraph by the chorus in medea? Did you hear, almighty Zeus? o earth o heaven, did yo hear The cry of woe this lady has uttered? Oh why, poor lady should you long For that unutterable haven of rest? Death only can bring it; and death comes only too soon! No, No there is no need to pray for death.

and what is the meaning of this statement made by the chorus

revolution | Student

a narrative that serves as an extended metaphor. Allegories are written in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories, and almost any other style or genre. The main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings.

kc4u | Student

The term 'allegory' refers to a literary work, chefly a poem, which carries a deeper layer of meaning underneath its apparent/explicit meaning.Langland's dream-vision, Piers Plowman, or Bunyan's prose-work, The Pilgrim's Progress are examples of allegory. T.S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land may also be called an allegory on the post-War Europe, it being allegorised as all barren and degenerate, just 'heaps of broken images'.

branbran | Student

What exactly is a plot of an allegory story?


the plot is a sequence of events in a story
it includes the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution

A plot is a causal sequence of events, the "why" for the things that happen in the story. The plot draws the reader into the character's lives and helps the reader understand the choices that the characters make.A plot's structure is the way in which the story elements are arranged

What Goes into a Plot

Narrative tradition calls for developing stories with particular pieces--plot elements--in place.

  1. Exposition is the information needed to understand a story.


  2. Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.


  3. Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.


  4. Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close.
wshakespeare | Student

What exactly is a plot of an allegory story?