Allegory, Allusion, Metaphor. How do they relate, and how do you define each, specifically?
An allegory may be thought of as an extended metaphor according to this page. Examples of an allegory are such works as fables and parables. The importance seems to be placed on the long-form nature of the work, as well as the ability to tell two (or more) narratives simultaneously. Setting, characters, and plot are meant to tell a literal story as well as a second story dependent on symbols. If one were to construct a story about a country mouse that moves to the big city, works at a hamburger joint, and ultimately gets a law degree from a school flirting with de-creditation to get a non-paying job at the local Hall of Justice, it could be construed as an allegory of Cal’s post-undergraduate life. Oh yeah, a chapter where he lives in Chicago would go well in there too.
An allusion is more a short- form work (often a sentence or two) that references another person, place, event, or cultural touchstone in order to provide a stronger punch of a specific mood or emotion to the reader. It’s meant to draw on a reader’s presumed experience with the referenced thing to leech the associated thoughts, opinions, and feelings into the work using the allusion. For example, “I felt a sinking sensation in my belly, as wwhazz must have felt coming down the ladder of the crane only to see a police cruiser’s spotlight shining directly in his face.”
A metaphor is a work of variable length (as suggested by the existence of the term extended metaphor). It’s a figure of speech; the ideas it connotes are figurative in nature as opposed to literal. The differences between metaphor and simile are well-known to middle school students paying any attention at all, but while similes are the fart joke of the literary world (ed: metaphor) the metaphor is like the steadicam shot from Goodfellas (ed: simile). “Kcar’s brilliant take on the SPASH state softball tournament was a shining beacon in the utter blackness of Northern Wisconsin Prep Sports Reporting.”
Metaphor can sometimes be confused with hyperbole; “The Madd Scientist is cuckoo bananas.” is mere hyperbole as opposed to metaphor, as we’re not trying to draw a connection to another literal idea (i.e., insane) but merely exaggerating the truth, which is that he’s bananas.
What’s the difference between me and you? About five bank accounts, three ounces, and two vehicles. Now, what’s an analogy and how does it relate to these literary ideas?