(297 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

A pattern of reference in the work which evokes a parallel action of abstract ideas. Usually allegory uses recognisable types, symbols and narrative patterns to indicate that the meaning of the text is to be found not in the represented world but in a body of traditional thought. Thus in Animal Farm by George Orwell, the pigs are seen to stand for communists because having led the revolution against the farmer they invent the phrase “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Pilgrim stands as the general type of the good Christian seeking the way of the Lord. Allegory can be simple, offering a one-to-one correspondence between the …

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Editors. "Allegory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Literary Genres and Modes