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What is Allegory? The allegory can be defined and used in any number ways. For instance, an allegory can alternately be a moral fable, such as Aesop's fables, an extended metaphor, or a symbol expressing abstract ideas. All in all, the allegory extrapolates on larger, more abstract ideas that the author does not wish to approach directly within his work. It brings a greater depth to the story‟s themes. An allegory is a story with (count 'em) two levels of meaning. First, there's the surface of the story. You know, the characters and plot and all that obvious stuff. Then there's the symbolic level, or the deeper meaning that all the jazz on the surface represents. The symbolic meaning of an allegory can be political or religious, historical or philosophical. Allegories are kind of like massive metaphors, but they usually come in narrative form—that is, they're told through stories. Why is it used? Why authors sometimes choose to use allegory is often determined by what ideas are being expressed, the readers to whom the author is addressing, or the environment in which the author resides. Some ideas are so abstract or esoteric, such as philosophical or ideological ideas, that they work best within the allegorical form. Sometimes authors, particularly those living in dictatorships or totalitarian regimes, will use the allegory to obscure their messages and protect themselves from political harassment. The target audience of a story can determine whether or not an allegory will be used. For instance, in fables or fairy tales, which are often directed toward children, the allegory can be far more useful in delivering morals to its audience. Sort of like a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down smoothly. Aesop's Fables is a good example of this. In many of his tales, animals are used to deliver strong messages to its audience. The Grimm Fairy Tales, which are often far more frightening than any of Disney's interpretations, delivered not only moral messages, but were used to frighten children into correct moral behavior or obedience. If they don't, a witch similar to the one found in Hansel and Gretel, will toss them in a pot and have them for dinner. These allegorical tales were far more powerful and effective for their use of symbols or archetypes---witches, fairy princesses, dragons---that were attractive to child readers. Some famous works The Allegory of the Cave By Plato In Book VII, Socrates presents the most beautiful and famous metaphor in Western philosophy: the allegory of the cave. This metaphor is meant to illustrate the effects of education on the human soul. Education moves the philosopher through the stages on the divided line, and ultimately brings him to the Form of the Good. Socrates describes a dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day. These people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. On top of the wall are various statues, which are manipulated by another group of people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. When they talk to one another about “men,” “women,” “trees,” or “horses,” they are referring to these shadows. These prisoners represent the lowest stage on the line—imagination. A prisoner is freed from his bonds, and is forced to look at the fire and at the statues themselves. After an initial period of pain and confusion because of direct exposure of his eyes to the light of the fire, the prisoner realizes that what he sees now are things more real than the shadows he has always taken to be reality. He grasps how the fire and the statues together cause the shadows, which are copies of these more real things. He accepts the statues and fire as the most real things in the world. This stage in the cave represents belief. He has made contact with real things—the statues—but he is not aware that there are things of greater reality—a world beyond his cave. Next, this prisoner is dragged out of the cave into the world above. At first, he is so dazzled by the light up there that he can only look at shadows, then at reflections, then finally at the real objects—real trees, flowers, houses and so on. He sees that these are even more real than the statues were, and that those were only copies of these. He has now reached the cognitive stage of thought. He has caught his first glimpse of the most real things, the Forms. When the prisoner‟s eyes have fully adjusted to the brightness, he lifts his sight toward the heavens and looks at the sun. He understands that the sun is the cause of everything he sees around him—the light, his capacity for sight, the existence of flowers, trees, and other objects. The sun represents the Form of the Good, and the former prisoner has reached the stage of understanding. The goal of education is to drag every man as far out of the cave as possible. Education should not aim at putting knowledge into the soul, but at turning the soul toward right desires. Continuing the analogy between mind and sight, Socrates explains that the vision of a clever, wicked man might be just as sharp as that of a philosopher. The problem lies in what he turns his sharp vision toward. The overarching goal of the city is to educate those with the right natures, so that they can turn their minds sharply toward the Form of the Good. Once they have done this, they cannot remain contemplating the Form of the Good forever. They must return periodically into the cave and rule there. They need periodically to turn away from the Forms to return to the shadows to help other prisoners. Animal Farm by George Orwell Animal Farm is an allegory that uses animals on a farm to represent the overthrow of Tsar Nicolas II, the actions of Stalin and the revolution in Russia before World War II. The struggles of the animals on the farm may be seen as a metaphor for:  How greed and indifference corrupted revolution  The dangers that can occur without a smooth transition to a people's government  The way in which those in power positions can manipulate the ideologies of society Many literary critics and historians have also directly linked each of the characters within the book to the central players in the Russian revolution. For instance, Mr. Jones represents the last Russian Tsar. Further, the doctrine of "animalism" in the book represents real life communism, allowing Orwell to make clear his position on the political situation in Russia through the use of metaphor and allegory alone.  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is a religious allegory with Aslan as Christ and Edmund as Judas.  Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is a religious or moral allegory where characters represent virtues and vices.  Pilgrim‟s Progress by John Bunyan is a spiritual allegory about a spiritual journey.  The Lord of the Flies by William Golding has many allegories about society, morality and religion, to name a few.  The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe shows no one escapes death.  Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is showing the Devil's staff being used to defy God and eat the forbidden fruit.  Animal Farm by George Orwell is a political allegory of events in Russia and Communism. Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Autumn of the Patriarch, about a Caribbean dictator, magic realism is employed to reveal the absurdity of the fear and terror engendered under such brutal regimes. Pilgrim‟s Progress by John Bunyan a protagonist named Christian goes on a journey in which he encounters complicating characters and situations such as Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Vanity Fair, and the Slough of Despair, thus depicting the struggles of a Christian trying to stay pure in order to go to heaven. Other works include:  Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is a religious or moral allegory where characters represent virtues and vices.  The Lord of the Flies by William Golding has many allegories about society, morality and religion, to name a few. Modern Times While not always considered allegorical, magic realism, a literary movement which began in South America by such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, use symbolism and extended metaphors to address abstract ideas. Many of these authors insist that the cruelty and brutality their countries suffered under the dictatorships of the 1950s through the 1970s were so surreal and absurd that a realist approach could not adequately express the horror. In the Novel The tentacles of the Cold War reached Colombia in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Disillusioned liberals set off to establish their own independent communities - modelled on leftist doctrine - in the countryside. Wealthy landowners began to raise militias and security forces as they feared a breakdown of the status quo. The world was dealing with an ideological struggle between communism and capitalism, and Colombia, with its colonial legacy of poor land distribution, a veritable oligarchy and impoverished mestizo and indigenous underclasses, was ripe for the rise of Marxist guerrilla opposition. The reasons for this shift of attitude are prominent in the novel. In the twentieth century, South Americans faced a dilemma: to succumb to the capitalist ideals of the western world or to surrender to the communist beliefs of Marx and Engels. Through symbol-laden texts, writers communicated their beliefs concerning the two economic ideologies. In his acclaimed novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel García Marquez vindicates Marxist ideals through his portrayal of the Catholic Church as a manipulative hegemon that cripples its people. These townsfolk become drones because of the local bishop's stranglehold on his followers. By portraying the townspeople as desensitized drones, Marquez characterizes the town as the novel's most corrupt regime through the inevitable death of his protagonist, Santiago Nasar. In defense of his socialist beliefs and Marxist ideals, Gabriel García Marquez creates a capitalist villain in the town's bishop to illustrate the unjust hegemonic nature of theCatholic Church with respect to its treatment of the townspeople. The death of Santiago Nasar is more than just a mystery murder. It represents a society decaying from the inside out because of the stranglehold imposed upon them by the Church. Marquez successfully portrays the Catholic Church as a corrupted hegemon through the bishop who enforces his message on the townspeople. On the day when everyone anticipates his arrival, the Bishop gives no consideration to the eagerly awaiting people and destroys their exhilaration by not getting off the boat and simply giving „an obligatory blessing‟. The Bishop allegorically creates a wall of distinction between the civic and the people of the church. Moreover, he only makes contact with the town through a series of „mechanically driven crosses without the malice of inspiration to them‟ This statement displays the arrogant behaviour of the Bishop and these actions do not earn him respect as a person but only as an empty shell of authority, another defect in the practical result of religious doctrines. Another interpretation of not leaving the boat portrays that the Bishop fails to give his words of wisdom as a spiritual leader and leaves them with only one reason to follow him, the fear of their afterlife if they do not. Overall the Bishop‟s characterisation has a negative influence on the society. Another characterisation diminishes the overall positive effect, the „cockscomb soup‟ that is the bishop‟s favourite and is a symbolic representation of his arrogance and male authority of the church. The „cockscomb‟ entails the death of a myriad of birds and therefore is a symbol representing masculinity. A second significant representative of the church in „Chronicle of a Death Foretold‟ is Father Amador. This figure is used to allegorise the debased nature of the Church and it‟s failure to influence the community positively. He is characterised as lackadaisical and this behaviour is rendered in his decision of not preventing the murder. A typical Latin American religious community profoundly relies on religion to provide a moral guideline to protect its citizens. Ironically, Father Amador fails to uphold high moral standards when he does nothing to prevent the murder of Santiago, furthermore, he attempts to justify his action by saying that he forgot because he was busy due to the frenzy of the „bishop coming on that unfortunate day‟ but how can one simply forget that a man is about to be murdered? In „Chronicle of a Death Foretold‟ the Latin American culture and religion is present. The treatment of death within the Spanish culture is expressed as approvable as long as conditions are met. In this case, the Vicario brothers know in order to belong to society they must kill Santiago as he dishonoured their sister Angela Vicario. „Before God and before men...It was a matter of honour‟ this manifests that the idea of honour can cross the confines of religion. Besides the Priest and Father Amador support the appalling actions of the Vicario brothers, it is a symbolic statement of religion that it is a set of orthodox rituals like the honour killing. The main theme of the passage centers around virginity, and the hint of the theme of honor supports the unfair double standards women must live up to and the discrimination of sex roles. Marquez successfully points out and highlights the cruel social conventions placed on women, such as the overrated importance of virginity. Primarily, the Vicario brothers represent this machismo culture because they are the real men in the Vicario family. Therefore, the brothers have to provide the stable income by operating a pig-slaughter house in the backyard. This indicates their manliness and masculinity because they are becoming the new men in the house. In addition, Pedro and Pablo Vicario symbolize this antigual machismo culture after their sister, Angela, reveals to them that Santiago Nasar had raped her; it becomes their responsibility and duty as men of the house to restore their family's honor by means of killing the perpetrator, Santiago Nasar. Gabriel Garcia Marquez dictates to the reader the ingrained belief of machismo in the Latin society through the Vicario brothers necessity to carry out the honour killing that the machismo culture calls for. The character of Santiago Nasar is highly resembles the Jesus Christ. Santiago can be interpreted as Saint James and Nasar means Nazareth, hence he is the direct representative of Christ in this story. To further testify this, Saintiago Nasar considered Chrsto Bedoya like his brother. It is believed that even Jesus Christ had a brother who shared the last name Christ. Christo here stands for Chrsit. Santiago‟s mother‟s name was Purisma Del Carmen. Purisma stands for pure and Carmen stands for Carmel, Virgin Marry, mother of Christ was also called Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Jesus‟ suffering was foretold in the Hebrew Bible just as the death of Santiago Nasar was foretold. On Monday, Santiago Nasar routinely went to the ranch called Divino Rostro, a name popularly given to the cloth Veronica used to wipe Christ‟s face. When Santiago Nasar was being stabbed, Initially the knife came out clean and there was no blood, just like Jesus. This makes Santiago Nasar divine like Christ. Just like Jesus Christ, many thought that even Santiago Nasar was innocent. Both men died young. The Crowing of the Cocks was heard after both these men died. In the Novel itself, when his post-mortem was done, he had a deep stab wound in his right hand and it is clearly mentioned in the Novel that he looked like a stigma of Christ. Vicario here stands for Vicar, which means agent. It means agents of death in this context. Poncio Vicario, is similar to Pontius Pilate, the man who gave the authorization to kill Jesus. Here, its Poncio Vicario who plays a similar role in the novel. Bayardo San Roman is is partly responsible in Santiago‟s murder, he represents the Romans who killed Jesus Christ. The early and the western church claims that 7 deoms were cast out from Mary Magdalene and she was the one who stood by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond. When Jesus was crucified by the Romans, Mary Magdalene was there supporting him in his final moments and mourning his death. Here, Mary is similar to Maria Cervantes. Maria was the one who mourned the most on the death of Santiago Nasar. Pedro is Similar to Peter and Pablo is similar to Paul. Peter and Paul were two of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. They were you could say the best companions of Christ. In this case, they are the ones who kill him. Angela Vicario stand for an angel. An angel is there to protect you, but here, it becomes the cause of death. So in all, it is a parody of Christ‟s death. This time Santiago Nasar is the “sacrificial lamb” who must die to renew the values of an entire community.