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Allegory. a literary device in which characters or events in a literary work symbolize ideas and concepts AKA extended metaphor. Famous Allegories.

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a literary device in which characters or events in a literary work symbolize ideas and concepts

AKA extended metaphor

famous allegories
Famous Allegories
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:Aslan’s death, sacrificing himself for Edmund, symbolizes Jesus's crucifixionin sacrifice for sinners (according to Christian theology)
  • Animal Farm: various animals symbolize the political figures of the Russian Revolution
  • The Faerie Queene: various knights symbolize different virtues (justice, chastity, courtesy, friendship, etc.)
  • “Young Goodman Brown”: the Devil’s Staff symbolizes defiance of God; a journey to the forest symbolizes Christian "self-exploration"; and the title character’s loss of his wife Faith symbolizes his loss of faith in salvation and in human goodness
the hobbit allegory or not
The Hobbit: Allegory or Not?
  • What ideas or concepts might the characters in The Hobbit symbolize?
  • What ideas or concepts might the events in The Hobbit symbolize?
the hobbit allegory or not1
The Hobbit: Allegory or Not?
  • Did Tolkien intend us to interpret the characters and events this way?
  • Many people have suggested that The Lord of the Rings is an allegory for the World Wars.
the hobbit allegory or not2
The Hobbit: Allegory or Not?
  • ButTolkien stated in his introduction to the second edition of TLOTR, "It is neither allegorical nor topical.... I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.”
  • Does it matter what Tolkien intended?
answer the aim
Answer the Aim

Even if we don’t call it an “allegory,” we can still find parallels between Tolkien’s story and the real world.

  • What does The Hobbit reflect about 1930s Europe?
  • What does it reflect about modern society?