Literary Term Parable

Literary Term Parable

A parable is a short allegorical story that teaches a moral or religious lesson. They’re typically short, simple tales that illustrate a moral or lesson through analogy or metaphor. Some famous examples of parables from literature are “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, “The Prodigal Son”, and “A clever ant and a lazy grasshopper”. 

Characteristics of Parable: A parable is a literary form used to convey moral or spiritual lessons through allegorical stories. Here are some characteristics of parables in literature:

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  1. Short Narrative: Parables are typically straightforward stories. They involve simple, everyday situations or events relatable to the audience.
  2. Allegorical Nature: They contain symbolic elements where characters, events, or objects represent abstract ideas or moral principles. These symbols convey a deeper meaning beyond the literal story.
  3. Moral Lesson: Parables aim to teach a specific moral, ethical, or spiritual lesson. They generate thought and encourage reflection on the message being conveyed.
  4. Universal Applicability: Parables often carry a message that exceeds specific cultures or periods. These elements make them universally relevant and applicable.
  5. Engagement and Interpretation: Parables encourage interpretation and engagement from the audience. 
  6. Simplicity and Accessibility: Parables are generally simple and easily understood. This allows them to reach a wide audience regardless of education or background.
  7. Use of Metaphors and Analogies: Parables often employ metaphors, analogies, or similes to illustrate complex ideas or moral concepts in a more accessible manner.
  8. Memorability: The simplicity and depth of parables often make them memorable. This allows their messages to stay through generations.

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  1. Open-Endedness: While parables convey a specific lesson, they may not explicitly state it. They leave space for interpretation and discussion among readers or listeners.
  2. Presence in Different Cultures and Religions: Parables are found in various cultural and religious traditions, such as in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Buddhist Jataka tales, and the stories of the Sufi tradition, among others.
Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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