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Allegorical Short Stories
Before writing their own creative works, the students of the Classic Works of the Imagination class study fairytales, fables, science fiction, fantasy and other highly symbolic or allegorical works. They learn about the common elements of these works and are encouraged to look behind their surface to their allegorical significance. They learned, for instance, that H. G. Wells’ Time Machine at first blush seems to be merely a fanciful tale that speculates what time travel into the distant future might be like, but in reality is an allegorical satire on class division in Victorian England. Wells, who was a Victorian socialist, saw the destructiveness of class division both for the working class and the aristocracy, and his Time Machine was a sort of indictment against an economic system that seemed to enslave one group of people for the benefit of another. The writing assignment gives the students a keener awareness of what allegorical writers attempt to accomplish in their stories.
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