Presentation on theme: "What is an allegory? Let’s start with a bunch of definitions."— Presentation transcript:
What is an allegory? Let’s start with a bunch of definitions.
ALLEGORY a story in which people, things, and happenings have a hidden or symbolic meaning: allegories are used for teaching or explaining ideas, moral principles, etc.
ALLEGORY a narrative (that means story) in which characters and action represent concepts different from the literal meaning of the story.
ALLEGORY Extending a metaphor (comparison) through an entire speech, passage or story so that objects, persons, and actions in the text are equated with meanings that lie outside the text.
ALLEGORY a story with both a literal and symbolic meaning (characters, events or things in the story represent something else)
ALLEGORY An allegory is a fictional story that refers to a real life situation using metaphors (comparisons).
ALLEGORY a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a political or historical situation (learner’sdictionary.com)
Still confused? Well then, let’s look at some examples.
TWO WOLVES One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
How is the story of the two wolves an allegory?
Think about the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
How is the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears an allegory?
Aesop's fables are examples of simple allegories, such as: The Ant and the Grasshopper - the grasshopper fails to provide for the winter while wasting time mocking the ant. The Dog and his Shadow - where the dog sees his reflection in a stream, and thinks the "other dog" has a larger piece of meat. He drops the one he's holding to grab it, and loses the meat in the water.
The Tortoise and the Hare The story of the tortoise and the hare is an allegory, expressing the belief that the slow and steady will always defeat the quick and prideful in the end. In Aesop’s popular fable two different distinct personality types compete, with the winner living slow and stable over the loser’s fast and impetuous lifestyle.
The Tortoise and the Hare continued… The hare has often been linked to youthful virility and physical vitality. The tortoise, on the other hand, is linked to age and tiredness. Two anthropomorphized creatures (animals given human qualities) compete for superiority, with the tortoise victor awarded fame, while the loser hare stews in his own disgrace, having failed to heed his elder's wisdom on matters of effective racing strategies.
The blindfolded figure with scales is an allegory of justice.
What is Dr. Seuss’s Star Bellied Sneetches an allegory for?
A great example of allegory is Dr. Seuss‘s work. He compares animals and different things that they have to symbolize so many different things. One example is The Sneetches. Animals think they're greater than other animals because they have a star on their stomach.
How is The Wizard of Oz an allegory?
Some scholars have theorized that the images and characters used by Baum and Denslow closely resembled political images that were well known in the 1890s, specifically the debate of the day regarding monetary policy: the "Yellow Brick Road" represents the gold standard, the silver slippers (which were ruby slippers in the film version) represent the sixteen to one silver ratio (dancing down the road). Many other characters and story lines represent identifiable people or circumstances of the day. The wicked witches of the east and west represented the local banks and the railroad industry, respectively, both of which drove small farmers out of business.
The scarecrow represents the farmers of the Populist party, who managed to get out of debt by making more silver coinage. The return to bimetallism would increase inflation, thus lowering the real value of their debts. The Tin Woodman represents the factory workers of the industrialized North, whom the Populists saw as being so hard-pressed to work grueling hours for little money that the workers had lost their human hearts and become mechanized themselves. (See Second Industrial Revolution)
Toto was thought to be short for teetotaler, another word for a prohibitionist; it should be noted that William Jennings Bryan, the fiery popular candidate (possibly the Lion character) from the Populist Party, was a teetotaler himself. Bryan also fits the allegorical reference to the Cowardly Lion in that he retreated from his support of free silver after economic conditions improved in the late 1890s. However, it has also been suggested the cowardly Lion represented Wall Street investors, given the economic climate of the time. The Munchkins represented the common people (serfdom), while the emerald city represented Washington and its green-paper money delusion.
The Wizard, a charlatan who tricks people into believing he wields immense power, would represent the President. The kiss from the Good Witch of the North is the electoral mandate; Dorothy must destroy the Wicked Witch of the West-the old West Coast "establishment" (money) with water (the US was suffering from drought). Moreover, "Oz" is the abbreviation for the measuring of these precious metals: ounces. Some biographers and scholars of Baum disagree, pointing to details of Baum's biography, his own statements and writing about the purpose of his book…The consensus is that the books are written mainly for the pleasure of Baum's younger readers, to give them a sense of possibility and imagination. Oz'
Any number of Disney's animated films or others made by Dreamworks and other production companies where animals or robots or even toys are depicted in a way is a figurative parallel to human behavior. For example, The Lion King, which tells a tale of young lion cub who is forced to grow into adulthood early because of circumstances that force him to deal with in an adult way. Disney has touted this film as being the first animated film that Disney has made that is not based on a story by someone else and claim it is an original story.
Perhaps the writers and producers and studio executives have never seen or heard of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, but The Lion King is remarkably similar to Hamlet where Simba parallels Hamlet, the evil Uncle Scar parallels Caudius and Simbas mother, of course, parallels Hamlet's mother. The only striking difference between these two stories is in Hamlet practically everybody dies but not so in the Lion King,, and Simba lives happily ever after with Hamlet's parallel of Ophelia.