Towards an understanding of George MacDonald : a study of symbolism in the fantasy works
Parsons, Margaret Ross
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Allegory and fantasy with a moral purpose are literary forms so closely related as to be practically synonymous; the basic intention of both is to instruct by means of a narrative whose underlying purpose can be identified, or at least sensed, by the average reader. The author provides for the reader what Angus Fletcher calls "signposts"; these state the aim of the work, sometimes by direct explanatory comment, but more usually in the form of symbols. These symbols deliberately draw attention to the secondary meanings, give continual "object lessons," and make clear the ultimate, larger truths the author is attempting to communicate.1 Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Alchemy: The Secret Art (New York: Bounty Books, 1973) 18.