English 11-2 Allegory Part 1 - Lecture

Posted: May 4, 2020

One of the larger concepts that we need to work on for English 11-2 is allegory.  I intended to guide you through this concept using fairy tales, and then rising in complexity to larger written pieces that are considered allegories.  That is not possible, so what I have done is chosen the novella Animal Farm, for you to analyze on your own. I chose this story because I feel it would be of a complexity you can manage with my online support as well as the massive amount of website support available for this classic story. it is also not a subtle allegory, it is a very obvious one.

First let me re-introduce you to the concept.

An allegory is when a story has two layered meanings.  One is literal.  The character goes from point A to point B, has an adventure, learns something, and the story is resolved in some fashion.  The other meaning is figurative.  The characters are symbolic, representing groups of people or concepts.  The events are symbolic.  The setting is symbolic. The author wants you to enjoy the story but also see the deeper understanding under the surface where a second more meaningful and more introspective story is being told.

You have experienced this before; Lord of the Flies is an allegory.  Reading 1. Boys surviving on an island. Reading 2. Characters represent elements of humanity, the island becomes a social experiment and the objects represent societal or religious constructs. Suddeny the story is about humanity, about us.  It is important that you practice the skill of recognizing reading 2.  

If you are still confused about this concept, research allegory on your own time, or reach out to me for more expanation.

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