Term of Art: Allegory

“Allegory (noun) The use of metaphoric, often schematic storytelling and characters for two levels of meaning, with that beneath the surface narrative expressing deeper human truths, whether with a spiritual or moral message or as a form of satire; a literary work whose characters, settings, and incidents have their own verisimilitude but also mask hidden, parallel significations; symbolic narrative. Adj. allegorical; adv, allegorically; n. allegorization, allegorist; v. allegorize.

‘Tolstoy describes her as a creature so sensitive that we wonder she can’t speak. Now we see her lying at his feet, she bends her head back and gazes at him with her speaking eyes. The very suspicion of allegory destroys the validity of the scene.’ Joyce Cary, Art and Reality”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.