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What are some examples of allegory?

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Quick Answer

Some examples of allegory include "Pilgrim’s Progress" by John Bunyan, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis and "Faerie Queene" by Edmund Spenser. Another often-cited example of allegory is J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, though the author insisted that his intent was not allegorical.

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An allegory is a figure of speech that uses the elements of a full story or narrative - including setting, characters and plot - to stand for an abstract idea. Allegories commonly teach religious and moral principles or give social commentary.

"Pilgrim’s Progress" is an example of an allegory about a spiritual journey. The main character is Christian, an ordinary sinner who leaves the City of Destruction and travels to Celestial City with his companion Faithful to find salvation. "Faerie Queene" and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" are also spiritual allegories. In Spenser's work, characters represent vices and virtues, while in Lewis' story, the central character, Aslan the Lion, stands for Christ and Edmund stands for Judas.

"Animal Farm" is political allegory about events in Russia after the revolution. In this story, farm animals represent prominent Russian figures like Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.

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