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As a literary device, an allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor. An allegory may be: 1) the representation of abstract principles by characters or figures; 2) a picture, book, or other form of communication using such representation; or 3) a symbolic representation which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, usually a moral or political one.


  • I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.

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