Symbolism You judge the importance the author gives to something • Windmill in “A Worn Path” • Small, fragile like Phoenix • And her grandson • Phoenix’s generous nature Allegory • Is like a symbol because it transfers and broadens meaning • More sustained than a symbol • An allegory is a symbol as a motion picture is to a still picture • Often concerned with morality, religion, sometimes politics and social issues • Much literature can be called “allegorical” • Favorite method of teaching morality. • In some countries, thought and expression are not free and this is a literary form of expression in a difficult world. • Ex. – Star Wars and good vs. evil • Obi Wan (intelligence) teaches Luke (hero, bold) in the ways of the “Force” (religion, morals) – a person’s quest for self-fulfillment • More specifically – Evil Darth Vader imprisons Luke and Luke must exert all his skill and strength to overcome. Allegorically – imprisonment may be the self doubt, discouragement, and depression that all people experience while trying to better themselves through education, work, friendship, marriage, and so on. Parable, Myth and Fable • All related to allegory and symbolism • Fable – often about animals that possess human traits • Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote; Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse The Fox and the Grape by Aesop • A hungry Fox came into the vineyard where there hung delicious clusters of ripe Grapes; his mouth watered to be at them; but they were nailed up to a trellis so high, that with all his springing and leaping he could not reach a single bunch. At last, growing tired and disappointed, “Let who will take them!” says he, “they are but green and sour; so I’ll e’en let them along.” Parable • Short simple story with a moral or religious thrust • Usually associated with Jesus and embody religious insights and truths • “The Prodigal Son” by Luke Myth • A traditional story that reflects and embodies the religious, cultural and philosophical values of a society. • Sisyphus, Hercules, Oedipus • Most are fictional but some are based in historical truth. • It can mean a current belief or idea that people hold true – like never-ending economic growth. • The myth itself is in the allegorical or symbolic interpretation. Allusions • Cultural or universal symbols and allegories often ALLUDE to other works of a culture, such as the Bible, ancient history, literature.
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