Q:

What short stories are examples of allegories?

A:

Many short stories, including some of "Aesop's Fables," are allegories that contain unstated moral, social or political commentaries. For instance, the result of the animals' race in "The Tortoise and the Hare" implies that some people with natural talents do not make use of them because of laziness. In addition, it illustrates that it's possible for less gifted people to achieve success through perseverance and hard work.

Another story from Aesop, "The Ant and the Grasshopper," shows how the insects differ in their preparations for winter. The fable teaches that hard work and vigilance help individuals succeed when challenges and struggles arise.

Children's author Dr. Seuss presents allegories in many tales. For example, in "Yertle the Turtle," the amphibian king strives for power, disregarding the plight of his subjects. This is an allegory for abusive totalitarian and autocratic governments. The overthrow of the turtle king indicates the value that freedom holds for people.

Another of Seuss' books, "The Sneetches" is an allegory about racism. The creatures in the story put differing values on whether or not they have stars on their abdomens. They eventually recognize the damage that prejudice brings.

Shel Silverstein's book, "The Giving Tree," illustrates the choices a tree makes as it gives more and more of itself to benefit another. This story provides allegories about change, decisions and sacrifices.


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