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Fables and Allegories. Introduction to Animal Farm Part II. The Ant and the Grasshopper: a Fable. The Ant and the Grasshopper.

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Fables and allegories

Fables and Allegories

Introduction to Animal Farm

Part II

The ant and the grasshopper
The Ant and the Grasshopper

In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, carrying along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

The ant and the grasshopper1
The Ant and the Grasshopper

"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"

"I am helping to store up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and I recommend you to do the same."

The ant and the grasshopper2
The Ant and the Grasshopper

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper. “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

The ant and the grasshopper3
The Ant and the Grasshopper

When the winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

The ant and the grasshopper4
The Ant and the Grasshopper

Then the Grasshopper knew...

It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

A fable usually
A fable usually…

  • is very short

  • features nonhuman characters who have been personified to an extreme

    • such as animals, plants, inanimate objects, mythical creatures or forces of nature

  • ends with a short moral lesson


Probably the most well known writer of fables is Aesop, who lived in Ancient Greece.

He wrote “The Ant and the Grasshopper ” and lots of other fables still popular today.

Quotations from aesop
Quotations from Aesop

  • Don’t cry over spilt milk.

  • Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched.

  • Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • Appearances are often deceiving.

  • Birds of a feather flock together.

  • Slow and steady wins the race.


An allegory is an artwork in which every part has at least twomeanings:

  • the literal meaning

  • and a symbolic meaning

Many fables are also allegories.

The ant and the grasshopper an allegory too
The Ant and the Grasshopper:an Allegory, too!

Literal MeaningSymbolic Meaning

The Ant


The Grasshopper



= Hardworking People

= Work / Preparation

= Short-sighted People

= Opportunity Time

= Hard Times

Modern fables
Modern Fables

Two modern writers of fables are James Thurber, who wrote “The Shore and the Sea,” and George Orwell, who wrote Animal Farm.

Animal farm
Animal Farm

Animal Farm is both

a fable (with animals!)

and an allegory

(of the 1917 Russian Revolution).