It's no secret that my writing is a bit allegorical. I don't claim to be good at it, or even know a whole lot about it, but there is something about allegory as a concept that draws me.
So, what exactly is allegory? According to the Oxford dictionary, an allegory is:
a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one, or a symbol.
I'm not trying to say that this is the pinnacle of writing, or even the best way to convey an idea in the form of a story. I simply like exploring the realm of telling a story with something else hidden inside, like a little treasure. I like putting it out there, whether you agree or disagree, believe or deny. Throw the idea out onto the page for the reader to ponder, act on, or completely disregard.
The beauty of allegory is that it is all in the interpretation. I can write in such a way that conveys my beliefs, thoughts, or morals, but ultimately what comes out of the story is dependant upon how it is read. A writer can control everything about a story, up until someone reads it. There is no way to influence what the reader brings to the story, or how they interpret the theme in their own context.
My fascination with this kind of story-telling has also influenced how I perceive various things that I read or watch. I find myself trying to dig a layer below the story, to see if there is some deeper theme or idea behind the narrative.
Sometimes there is nothing, or at least not much, behind the story, and that is just fine. There is certainly a place for stories that just provide an escape from reality. Often, there is something more in the story which, when discovered, can bring a deeper appreciation for the work. It can also provide a greater understanding of the story, and give a glimpse into the mind of the storyteller. It's kind of fun, and often can be enlightening, to try to figure out that deeper story.
I don't sit down and think about how I can weave a certain idea into story form. Instead, when I have an idea for a story, I try to think about what the bigger idea is within that story, and how to accentuate it. I try to pull that idea out, and give it a large part in the story. It almost becomes a character itself. This may not be the best or most effective way to write allegory, but it has worked for me.
I also have fun writing stories that don't hold deeper, life-applicable ideology behind them. After all, every piece of writing evokes some sort of response. Every time I put words on a page I have the opportunity to create a thought, or just create an escape from reality. I get to go inside your head, and that is an absolute privilege.
Thank you for letting me in.