Symbol, short version

Symbol, short version – A symbol is a sign or group of signs with an agreed upon allegorical meaning. At it’s most basic, a symbol is an image or other element in a story that represents more than itself. For example, “United States of America” literally means “a late capitalist North American democracy/empire inhabited by [...]

Metaphor (All Types) and Archetype

Metaphor (All Types) and Archetype - Metaphor, in general, is our ability to see similarities between at first unrelated things, be they people, places, ideas, objects, cultures, actions—whatever. Metaphorical language is symbolic, in that such language asks us to be able to read one thing and think of some other thing. There are various levels of metaphor. The simile is [...]

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale – Intended (sometimes) for children, this type of moralizing narrative often includes talking animals and magical plants—making it essentially a subset of fable–parable. The fairy tale has a long, rich tradition, courtesy of fairy-fanatics such as the Brothers Grimm, Lafcadio Hearn, Tim Burton, and Neil Gaiman. We know the genre when we encounter [...]

Fable versus Parable


Fable versus Parable - Narratology, criticism, and folkstudies give us plenty of rubrics by which to determine what is or is not a certain type of traditional story. For example, according to Wikipedia, a fable is “a brief story that features animals, plants, objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized, and that illustrates a moral [...]

Allegory vis-á-vis Comic Books

Allegory vis-á-vis Comic Books – An allegory is any story in which some dimension of the plot and its actors is not literal but symbolic, creating for us associations beyond the obvious. Perhaps surfaces of plot and character reveal hidden depths, or—in a more postmodern mode—surfaces are pregnant with new surfaces, new implications. I like [...]