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The Shining was an allegory that had the secret meaning of the genocide of Native Americans.

This sounds incorrect.

The Shining was an allegory about the genocide of Native Americans.

That also sounds incorrect and a bit vague

Is there a better way to say this? I think the last one makes the most sense, but the about doesn't specify if it's the secret meaning conveyed by the allegory or the literal subject of the film.

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  • The usual expression is an allegory of [something]. Commented May 15, 2021 at 13:29
  • "secret meaning" is slightly childish.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 15, 2021 at 13:38

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An allegory, by definition, is a narrative that carries a subtext. Having stated that something is an allegory, there is no need for you to say that it has a "secret meaning" at all. In fact, if the meaning were really a 'secret', it wouldn't be a very good allegory, because nobody would knew what it meant.

Just say:

The Shining was an allegory of the genocide of Native Americans.

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