The Truth In Heroic Allegory

625 Words3 Pages
Yvonne Young British Literary Tradition II (EN246OC) Professor Abma May 29, 2011 The Truth in Heroic Allegory: S. Johnson’s “Truth, Falsehood and Fiction: an allegory” The word allegory, coming from the Latin allegoria meaning “veiled language, figurative”, is an effective literary device used by many writers to communicate messages by means of symbolic figures and extended metaphors. As it turns out, Samuel Johnson used just that in his esteemed allegorical work “Truth, Falsehood and Fiction: an allegory” where abstract concepts of human nature (good versus bad) are cleverly woven into an epic tale full of mythological and worldly characters. In this, Johnson is able to place a “mask” of figurative language over intangible, sober subject material, effectively catching the reader’s interest, while at the same time providing a deeper understanding of the true significance behind the narrative. In his essay, allegory is used to personify human concepts into tangible characters providing a deeper understanding of its teachings. For instance, the word truth can be described as honesty, reality, sincerity etc, but the heroine TRUTH, “daughter of Jupiter and Wisdom”, causes readers to envision a “majestic”, “towering” woman “conscious of superior power and juster claim” who must fight to win the hearts of men. Through this, the word truth has become much more, it is an aspect of war, a warrior capable of being “often wounded” by corruption. Another character is REASON, who “attended” as a “follower, rather than a companion”. Normally, the word reason is described as a justification for an action, but Johnson’s REASON forces readers to think of reason as having a connection with truth and vital for “disrobing” truth. Also, the character FALSEHOOD is illustrated as a “violent” woman “surrounded, animated and supported” by the PASSIONS and “dressed and

More about The Truth In Heroic Allegory

Open Document