Guide to Literary Terms

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Allegory

An allegory is a narrative that functions as an extended metaphor in which characters, events, settings, objects, etc. have symbolic as well as literal meanings. Allegorical texts often illustrate moral or religious lessons, abstract concepts, and/or historical, social, or political situations.

Correct examples:

  • Plato’s allegory of the cave, which draws a parallel between the men in the cave and their ignorance of the outer world to an intellectual’s search for truth and society’s subsequent rejection of that truth.

  • Animal Farm, which critiques Stalinism through a story about farm animals staging a revolution and creating a totalitarian society.