Posted in Understanding Writing

What is a parable?

  • a personal story
  • contains a mythological meaning–the myths of ourselves

Characteristics of a parable

  • a story that reveals more than it states
  • a story that makes a particular point or points without expressing them as a specific moral–unlike a fable
  • a story that expresses a point of view, a perspective that is presented by one of the characters in the story

Parables work by analogy

  • a special compare/contrast
  • a beginning for the teaching of expository writing

Parabellein (Greek verb)

  1. to set beside or parallel with (the story of the prodigal son)
  2. to compare one with another (should I keep the money, or should I return the wallet?)
  3. to direct one’s course toward (the Gift of the Magi)

Parables go beyond “personal experience” assignments

  • parables are told with the intention of making a point
  • they thus avoid the dangers of “what I did on my spring break”