An allegory is a whole world of symbols. Within a narrative form, which can be either in prose or verse, an allegory tells a story that can be read symbolically. You may have encountered The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser, or a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne such as Rappacini’s Daughter, or maybe you’ve heard that The Wizard of Oz was originally an allegory. Interpreting an allegory is complicated because you need to be aware of what each symbol in the narrative refers to. Allegories thus reinforce symbolic meaning, but can also be appreciated as good stories regardless of their allegorical meaning.

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