Why I Love Allegories

Allegory |ˈaləˌgôrē|
noun ( pl. -ries)
a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Out of all the forms of writing I’ve come to appreciate, my absolute favorite is the allegorical novel/novella. I particularly enjoy pessimistic ones, which might possibly be reason for concern, but I guess I’m one of those people that likes to get freaked out. I love it when everything finally “clicks.” I’ll have finished reading an amazing book, and I’ll suddenly realize, “Hey! The author is telling me that people are generally bad and not even society’s conditioning can change it!” or, “Remind me again why I trust politicians?” or even, “I need to reassess my life because I’ve obviously been living in the dark all this time.” Knowing that you figured out the author’s hidden message feels so awesome!
I actually believe that almost every story is an allegory in some way. It may not be obvious or even significant, but somehow it is. As human beings, even our wildest imaginings are inspired by real things or concepts, so it is impossible to write a fictitious work without any trace of real-world inspiration or personal meaning. That’s how I see it, anyway.
I think the main reason allegories appeal to me so much is that many of them act as prophecies or warnings of possible futures. As I once remarked in an English paper, “we are living in the sequel.” The author of the allegory is almost challenging us to do better than his/her characters did, to prove them wrong…
Cool, right?

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