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TODAY’S AGENDA

Our Goals:
• Learn about allegory
Today’s Schedule:
1. Allegory
2. The Allegory of the Cave
3. The Garden
4. Masque of the Red Death

Homework:
• Choice Reading
WHAT IS ALLEGORY?
• Last class we talked about how authors often weave truths, ideas,
and lessons into their stories.

• Some authors take this to an extreme by creating allegories,


which are narratives where every character and event stands for an
idea.

• They are different than symbols in that symbols are where


something represents something else. Allegories are full narratives
(with full story arcs) where every character and part represents an
idea.
AN EXAMPLE: ALLEGORY OF
THE CAVE
FREDERICK DOUGLASS

• Was born a slave and escaped slavery as a young man.

• Upon escaping, he told the stories of his enslavement, despite the fact that he legally could be returned to
slavery by publicly acknowledging that he was an escaped slave.

• After his publication of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” in 1845, he became the first true
African American celebrity and remained a best-selling author and in-demand speaker for the next 50 years.

• His work arguably did more (along with Uncle Tom’s Cabin) for ending slavery than almost anything else. It
did this because he understood well the power of stories.

• His work is known for having a timeless quality. For example:

• “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

• “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
ALLEGORY #1: AN EXCERPT FROM
FREDERICK DOUGLASS’ LIFE OF AN
AMERICAN SLAVE
What moral or hidden message is buried in this allegory from the beginning of Ch. 3?

COLONEL LLOYD kept a large and finely cultivated garden, which afforded almost constant
employment for four men, besides the chief gardener. This garden was probably the greatest attraction
of the place. During the summer months, people came from far and near--from Baltimore, Easton, and
Annapolis--to see it. It abounded in fruits of almost every description, from the hardy apple of the north
to the delicate orange of the south. This garden was not the least source of trouble on the plantation. Its
excellent fruit was quite a temptation to the hungry swarms of boys, as well as the older slaves,
belonging to the colonel, few of whom had the virtue or the vice to resist it. Scarcely a day passed,
during the summer, but that some slave had to take the lash for stealing fruit. The colonel had to resort
to all kinds of stratagems to keep his slaves out of the garden. The last most successful one was that of
tarring his fence all around; after which, if a slave was caught with any tar upon his person, it was
deemed sufficient proof that he had either been into the garden, or had tried to get in. In either case, he
was severely whipped by the chief gardener. This plan worked well; the slaves became as fearful of tar as
of the lash. They seemed to realize the impossibility of touching tar without being defiled.
EDGAR ALLAN POE

• Is credited with being the creator of two modern genres: mystery and horror.

• His poetry and short stories are incredibly dense, full of metaphor, and use
language in (at the time) completely unorthodox and innovative ways.

• Was not very successful in his lifetime. He did have a number of works
published in mid-level publications, but only “The Raven” had what could be
considered commercial success.

• His life was not exactly a happy one. He struggled with alcoholism, mental
illness, money, and dealing with his wife’s death from tuberculosis.
YOUR TASK
• As we read Masque of the Red Death, highlight potential
symbols that could be a part of the allegory.

• A quick note: Prince Prospero is the name of a Shakespeare


character from the Tempest who strives to control everyone
and everything. It does not work out well for him…

• Now that we are done, meet with your group and write an
argument for the following: What is the message of the
allegory? What are the key symbols that play into that?