Literary Terms and Periods of American Literature

Literary Terms and Periods of American Literature

Allegory A narrative work of fiction or drama in which the elements work together to teach a moral lesson. An allegory can be a story with two meanings, a literal meaning, and a symbolic meaning. Many people have suggested that The Lord of the Rings is an allegory for the World Wars, in spite of J. R. R. Tolkien's emphatic statement to the contrary in

the introduction to the second edition. Allegory Animal Farm is an allegory for the Stalins Russian state. In Dantes The Divine Comedy. Dante is on a pilgrimage to try to understand his own life, but his character also represents every man who is in search of his purpose in the world.

The most obvious use of allegory is work-length narratives such as the medieval Everyman or Bunyans Pilgrims Progress. The Crucible is an allegory. While it appears to be about the Salem witch Trials of the 1690s it is in fact about the communist witch hunt of the early 1950s.

Allegorical films include: Fritz Lang's Metropolis Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country

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