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Animal Farm: Allegory

ALLEGORY

Allegory:

The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.

 

An Allegory is... 

- A form of extended metaphor

- A story with two meanings-  1) a literal meaning  2) a symbolic meaning

- A story with a moral, social, religious, or political significance

- A story with characters who personify abstract ideas (such as charity, greed, or envy) 

 

Animal Farm as an Allegory: 

Animal Farm = The History of Russia (from 1917-1943)

Animalism = Communism

Characters = Russian Historical Figures

 

Examples of Allegory

Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches - an allegory

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches-

Had bellies with stars.

The Plain-Belly Sneetches-Had none upon thars.  

Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.

You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all. 

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches

Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort

“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”

And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,

They’d hike right on past them without even talking.  

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,

Could a Plain- Belly get in the game…? Not at all.

You only could play if your bellies had stars

And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars. 

When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts

Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,

They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches.

They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.

They kept them away. Never let them come near.

And that’s how they treated them year after year. 

Then ONE day, seems…while the Plain-Belly Sneetches

Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,

Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars…

A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars! 

 

“My friends,” he announced in a voice clear and keen,

“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.

And I’ve heard of your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.

But I can fix that. I’m the Fix-it-Up Chappie.

I’ve come here to help you. I have what you need.

And my prices are low. And I work at great speed.

And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed! 

 

Then, quickly Sylvester McMonkey McBean

Put together a very peculiar machine.

And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch…?

My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!” 

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”

So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared

And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked

And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!

When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!

They actually did. They had stars upon thars! 

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,

“We’re exactly like you! You can’t tell us apart.

We’re all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties!

And now we can go to your frankfurter parties.” 

“Good grief!” groaned the ones who had stars at the first.

“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.

But, now, how in the world will we know,” they all frowned,

“If which kind is what, or the other way round?” 

Then came  McBean with a very sly wink.

And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.

So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.

But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?

I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on beaches

And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.” 

“Belly stars are no longer in style,” said McBean.

“What you need is a trip through my Star-off Machine.

This wondrous contraption will take off your stars

So you won’t look like Sneetches who have them on thars.”

And that handy machine Working very precisely

Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely. 

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about

And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,

“We know who is who! Now there isn’t a doubt.

The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!” 

Then, of course, those with stars all got frightfully mad.

To be wearing a star now was frightfully bad.

Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean

Invited them into his star-off machine. 

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,

Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,

The fix-it-up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.

Off again! On Again!  In again! Out again!

Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two.

They kept paying money. They kept running through

Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew

Whether this one was that one…or that one was this one

Or which one was what one …or what one was who. 

Then, when every last cent

Of their money was spent,

The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up

And he went. 

And he laughed as he drove

In his car up the beach,

“They never will learn.

No. You can’t teach a Sneetch!” 

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say

That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day,

The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches

And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches

That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars

And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.

copied from "The Sneetches and Other Stories"  The Dr. Seuss Wiki  http://seuss.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sneetches

Examples of Allegory

Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle - an allegory

Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist during WWII. He drew many cartoons mocking Hitler and the Nazis. "Yertle the Turtle" is an entertaining story of a turtle king who continues to reach for more an more power at the expense of his turtle subjects. He keeps reaching until he is dethroned. Sound familiar? "Yertle the Turtle" has been called an allegory of the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. Whether it is or not, the story can definitely be read (and is intended to be read) as an allegory that criticizes totalitarian and autocratic forms of government and how they destroy the individualism and freedom of the people. Check it out for yourself below.

On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everything turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.

They were… until Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
“I’m ruler”, said Yertle, “of all that I see.
But I don’t see enough. That’s the trouble with me.
With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond
But I cannot look down on the places beyond.
This throne that I sit on is too, too low down.
It ought to be higher!” he said with a frown.
“If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be!
What a king! I’d be ruler of all that I see!”

So Yertle the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another one’s back
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see ‘most a mile!

“All mine!” Yertle cried. “Oh, the things I now rule!
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And, what’s more, beyond that
I’m the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”

And all through the morning, he sat up there high
Saying over and over, “A great king am I!”
Until ‘long about noon. Then he heard a faint sigh.
“What’s that?” snapped the king,and he looked down the stack.
And he saw, at the bottom, a turtle named Mack.
Just a part of his throne. And this plain little turtle
Looked up and he said, “Beg your pardon, King Yertle.
I’ve pains in my back and my shoulders and knees.
How long must we stand here, Your Majesty, please?”

“SILENCE!” the King of the Turtles barked back.
“I’m king, and you’re only a turtle named Mack.”

“You stay in your place while I sit here and rule.
I’m the king of a cow! And I’m the king of a mule!
I’m the king of a house! And a bush! And a cat!
But that isn’t all. I’ll do better than that!
My throne shall be higher!” his royal voice thundered,
“So pile up more turtles! I want ’bout two hundred!”

“Turtles! More turtles!” he bellowed and brayed.
And the turtles ‘way down in the pond were afraid.
They trembled. They shook. But they came. They obeyed.
From all over the pond, they came swimming by dozens.
Whole families of turtles, with uncles and cousins.
And all of them stepped on the head of poor Mack.
One after another, they climbed up the stack.

Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high,
He could see forty miles from his throne in the sky!
“Hooray!” shouted Yertle. “I’m the king of the trees!
I’m king of the birds! And I’m king of the bees!
I’m king of the butterflies! King of the air!
Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair!
I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!”

Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
“Your Majesty, please… I don’t like to complain,
But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
We turtles can’t stand it. Our shells will all crack!
Besides, we need food. We are starving!” groaned Mack.

“You hush up your mouth!” howled the mighty King Yertle.
“You’ve no right to talk to the world’s highest turtle.
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
There’s nothing, no, NOTHING, that’s higher than me!”

But, while he was shouting, he saw with surprise
That the moon of the evening was starting to rise
Up over his head in the darkening skies.
“What’s THAT?” snorted Yertle. “Say, what IS that thing
That dares to be higher than Yertle the King?
I shall not allow it! I’ll go higher still!
I’ll build my throne higher! I can and I will!
I’ll call some more turtles. I’ll stack ‘em to heaven!
I need ’bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!”

But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he’d taken enough. And he had.
And that plain little lad got a bit mad.
And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing.
He burped!
And his burp shook the throne of the king!

And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees,
The king of the air and the birds and the bees,
The king of a house and a cow and a mule…
Well, that was the end of the Turtle King’s rule!
For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond,
Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond!

And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.

by Dr. Seuss