Questions tagged [allegory]

Questions related to allegories, i.e. a type of text in which a metaphor is extended throughout the entire narrative. Examples include the cave allegory in Book VII of Plato's Republic, and Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene, in which the several knights stand for different virtues.

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8 votes
1 answer

Does the blackness in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader have any religious significance?

In Chapter 12, "The Dark Island", of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the ship reaches a patch of mysterious blackness in the ocean. Nobody wants to enter it, but after a speech from the ever-...
24 votes
6 answers

If Tolkien disliked allegory, why are there so many allegorical readings of The Lord of the Rings?

There is a famous quote from J.R.R. Tolkien in which he states his hatred of allegorical writing. "I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old ...
7 votes
1 answer

Meaning of capitalized nouns in a Lord Byron poem

I am referencing to Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (see: Wikipedia article). Here is the opening stanza of the work (TO IANTHE): Not in those climes where I have late been straying, ⁠Though ...
10 votes
1 answer

Are any of the countries in Hard to Be a God based specifically on particular real-life countries?

Arkanar, Irukan, Soan, ... there are several countries mentioned and given at least some description and fleshing out in the book. Are any of these intended to be direct parallels of specific real-...
6 votes
1 answer

Political Allegory in Shepheardes Calendar

In Edmund Spenser's The Shepheard's Calendar, which political allegory seems more appropriate in May Eclogue's Fox and Kid fable? According to Mary Parmenter, the Fox is Esme Stuart, Duke of Aubigny, ...
1 vote
0 answers

Story about people living in a cave and not wanting to leave and explore

I have a vague memory of a story where a tribe of some sort lives in a cave for generations, and never leaves because they have access to food and water. One time, someone (it may have been a child; ...
1 vote
0 answers

Symbolic interpretations of William Horwood's Callanish?

William Horwood's short novel Callanish is about a golden eagle in London Zoo and his struggles with captivity and freedom. It was Horwood's second novel about eagles, after the extraordinarily good ...
3 votes
1 answer

Why did Rachel Carson begin “Silent Spring” with an allegory?

Rachel Carson begins her book Silent Spring with an allegory, explaining how a small American town with beautiful nature, one day is destroyed and all the birds stop singing. There was a strange ...
6 votes
0 answers

Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD?

Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD? Would ‘allegory’ be the correct terminology here?
14 votes
1 answer

Are the inconsistencies in Harry Potter symbolic or allegorical?

(I asked a more verbose version of this question on Sci Fi & Fantasy where it didn't go down well. It seemed to get bogged down in whether or not the Potterverse really is "inconsistent". But I ...
12 votes
2 answers

What is the story of the woman who collected valueless things?

In G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown short story, The Blast of the Book, he makes two references to a story (presumably allegoric) about a woman who collected valueless things. The references are not ...
14 votes
1 answer

Political allegory in Lukyanenko's Watch series?

The Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko describes the often bloodless struggle between the Night Watch and the Day Watch. It's a sort of cold war in which each side is only permitted to attack members ...
6 votes
2 answers

What is the difference between a 'metaphor' and an 'allegory'?

What is the difference between a 'metaphor' and an 'allegory'? Their dictionary meanings are too close to distinguish. Explanation with examples will be useful. The definitions I've come across ...
5 votes
1 answer

How much does "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young" differ from the original Bible story?

The poem "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young", usually attributed to Wilfred Owen although much of it was written by Siegfried Sassoon, is a slight retelling of the Biblical story of Abraham and ...