Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error


Allegory is a rhetorical device which we find in written and verbal representations where a group of signs stand for abstract ideas, usually religious, moral, philosophical or political. A widely known example is George Orwell’s novel

Animal Farm

(1945), a satire on totalitarian governments in which specific types of farm animals stand for types of contemporary politicians: the pigs resemble communist autocrats, the horses resemble the conscious working class, whilst the sheep and cows resemble the docile masses.

Animal Farm

is a “beast fable”, a genre of allegory that will be discussed later in this essay. Though here we will discuss allegory as a primarily verbal art, it is not limited to words and also appears in images such as are found in stained-glass windows and Renaissance…

4536 words

Citation: Kısmet Bell, Jameson. "Allegory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2023 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

19735 Allegory 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.