An allegory is a text that has a hidden meaning. It can be a story or a poem, and the meaning behind it is usually political or moral. In an allegory, the characters often symbolize a concept or idea from real life.
An allegory is a type of extended metaphor. The story or poem is used to draw an extended comparison between two different things-a character or event in the text and something in real life.
Many works of art are also allegorical, with the pictures representing people or ideas in real life.
Allegory makes use of symbolism, as things in the text represent concepts from life. What makes allegory different from symbolism is that an allegory is the narrative while symbolism is the device used.
Examples of Allegories
1. Orwell's Animal Farm-animals in the story and their interactions stand for political figures and events
2. Spenser's The Faerie Queene-an allegorical poem in which the knights represent virtues of chastity and holiness.
3. T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"-an allegorical poem relating to war
4. The Harry Potter series can be read as a Christian allegory-allegorical fight between good and evil with Harry as a Christ figure.
5. Milton's Paradise Lost is another allegorical text relating to Christianity, good versus evil, God versus Satan.
6. The Hunger Games series can be read as a political allegory that makes a statement about our modern society (e.g. The Capitol is like Hollywood; obsession with reality TV).
7. The Lord of the Flies is another allegorical text relating to the effects of war on society.