Monday, November 28, 2011

What Is an Allegory?

When I tell people The Inheritance is an allegory, many don't have a clue what that means. The definition found at is, "a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another."

In The Inheritance, names of characters and places all add a secondary level of meaning to the story. People can read and enjoy the book as a fantasy, without considering a deeper meaning, but readers have told me they enjoy the thought-provoking allegorical element.

When choosing the names in the book, I tried to find words that sounded more like a name. For instance, my main character Jejune, originally started out with the name "Bother" because he is bothered by an inner emptiness that leaves him restless and looking for something more. This nagging feeling bothers him. For me, the word "bother" just didn't work. After researching the possibilities, he became Jejune--lacking experience or knowledge. It was a perfect match!


  1. I also simply tell people that it's a story within a story...seems to work for too many blank stares then

  2. That is an awesome answer Diana! Thanks for sharing your insight. You've made my life a little easier.