Allegory facts for kids
An allegory is a term for a figure of speech. It is a story or picture with a hidden meaning. The characters in allegories are symbols which represent particular ideas. The story has a figurative meaning, not just a literal one.
Sometimes people say that stories have meanings which the author, in fact, did not intend. For instance, many people have suggested that The Lord of the Rings was an allegory for the World Wars, but, in fact, it was written well before the outbreak of World War II, and J.R.R. Tolkien said that it was not an allegory. In this way people sometimes change the author’s ideas.
Allegory has been a favourite form in the literature of nearly every nation. It is often used as a way of criticizing things or people where it would not be possible to do so directly.
Allegories still continue to be popular today. Pictures, movies and plays can be allegories. William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies also has allegorical meaning. Star Trek used a great deal of allegory, to look at social conditions and moral values in the present, while telling stories based in the future. Alien races were often a reflection of Earth's own races and countries.
Images for kids
Allegory of Hearing, Rembrandt van Rijn 1624-1625
Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I 1514: Unused tools, an hourglass, an empty scale surround a woman, other symbols point to her alleged mental state
Titian, Allegory of Prudence c.1565–1570: The three human heads symbolise past, present and future
Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting c. 1638–39
Jan Vermeer, The Art of Painting c. 1666: Painting is shown as related to history and politics, the young woman being Clio, the muse of history, and other symbols for the political and religious division of the Netherlands appearing
Allegory Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.