Satire, Allegory, and Fable

Satire, Allegory,
and Fable
Animal Farm
Satire is a genre of
literature (and
sometimes graphic
and performing arts) in
which issues, concerns,
and shortcomings are
ridiculed, ideally with
the intent of shaming
corporations, and
society itself, into
Although satire is
usually meant to be
funny, its greater
purpose is often
constructive social
criticism, using wit as
a weapon and as a
tool to draw
attention to both
particular and wider
issues in society.
Examples of Satire
Political Cartoons
(and to a lesser extent Reddit…I guess)
SNL’s Weekend Update
The Daily Show & The Colbert Report
Expressing meaning by using
language that normally signifies
the opposite, typically for
humorous or emphatic effect.
story, poem, or picture
which can be
interpreted to reveal a
hidden meaning,
typically a moral or
political one.
Fable is a literary genre. Fables
feature animals, mythical
creatures, plants, inanimate
objects or forces of nature
which are anthropomorphized
(given human qualities such as
verbal communication), and
that illustrates or leads to an
interpretation of a moral lesson
(a "moral"), which may at the
end be stated directly.
The Goose with the Golden Eggs
One day a countryman going to the nest of his
Goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering.
When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he
was going to throw it away, because he thought a
trick had been played upon him. But he took it home
on second thoughts, and soon found to his delight
that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the
same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by
selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy;
and thinking to get at once all the gold the Goose
could give, he killed it and opened it only to find
The Dog and the Shadow
It happened that a Dog had got a piece of
meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to
eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to
cross a plank lying across a running brook. As
he crossed, he looked down and saw his own
shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking
it was another dog with another piece of meat,
he made up his mind to have that also. So he
made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as
he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out,
dropped into the water and was never seen
The Trees and the Axe
A Man came into a forest, and made a petition to
the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The
Trees consented to his request, and gave him a
young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted from it
a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it,
and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants
of the forest. An old oak, lamenting when too late the
destruction of his companions, said to a neighboring
cedar: "The first step has lost us all. If we had not
given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have
retained our own privileges and have stood for
Relevance to Animal Farm
Animal Farm is part satire, part
allegory, and part fable. Keep
these terms and genres in mind
as we begin to read the novel
over the coming two weeks.

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