Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Allegory

I'm kicking off the A-Z Challenge with a great word for writers and artists.


A good allegory can help pull your readers into a story and at the same time give them something to think about. Allegories express meaning in the symbolism of fictional figures. This can be in art or writing.

Here's a painting by Raphael called Vision of Knight. The knight is sleeping on the ground dreaming of two women: the one with the book and sword could represent virtue the other woman with the flower could stand for pleasure. But the important thing to remember is --- what do you think they represent?

The best allegorical writing can be found in the Bible in parables. But they are also found in folklore and myths.

In my new book, Cold Justice, I wrote an allegory that appears at the heading of each chapter. The allegorical story gives hints of what will be in that chapter, but it is not represented of each character in my story. It was fun to write because I used as my guide allegories of Native Alaskans. They have a rich heritage of allegories

The great thing about an allegory is the interpretation is up to the reader.

Here's a challenge...try writing an allegory of your own.

Do you like allegories? What is the most unusual allegory you've read?



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